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The Life of John Milton 
Introduction . 



The First Book proposes, first in brief, the whole subject, man's disobedience, and the loss thereupon of Paradise, 
wherein he was placed ; then touches the prime cause of his fall, the Serpent, or rather Satan in the Serpent; 
who, revolting from God, and drawing to his side many legions of angels, was, by the command of God, driven 
out of Heaven, with all his crew, into the great deep. Which action passed over, the Poem hastens into the 
midst of things, presenting Satan with his angels now falling into Hell, described here, not in the centre, for 
Heaven and Earth may be supposed as yet not made, certainly not yet accursed, but in a place of utter dark- 
ness, fitliest called Chaos. Here Satan, with his angels, lying on the burning lake, thunderstruck and 
astonished, after a certain space recovers, as from confusion, calls up to him who next in order and dignity lay 
by him ; they confer of their miserable fall ; Satan awakens all his legions, who lay till then in the same 
manner confounded. They rise ; their numbers ; array of battle ; their chief leaders named, according to the 
idols known afterward in Canaan and the countries adjoining. To these Satan directs his speech, comforts 
them with hope yet of regaining Heaven, but tells them lastly of a new world, and a new kind of creature to 
be created, according to an ancient prophecy, or report in Heaven ; for, that angels were long before this 
visible creation, was the opinion of many ancient fathers. To find out the truth of this prophecy, and wliat 
to determine thereon, he refers to a full council. What his associates thence attempt. Pandemonium, the 
palace of Satan, rises, suddenly built out of the deep : the infernal peers there sit in council .... 

BOOK n. 

The consultation begun, Satan debates whether another battle be to be hazarded for the recovery of heaven. 
Som2 advise it, others dissuade : a third proposal is pieterred, mentioned before by Satan, to search the truth 
of that prophecy or tradition in heaven concerning another world, and another kind of creature, equal or not 
much inferior to themselves, about this time to be created. Their doubt, who shall be sent on this difficult 
search ; Satan, their chief, undertakes alone the voyage, is honoured and applauded. The council thus ended, 
the rest betake them several ways, and to several employments, as their inclinations lead them, to entertain 
the time till Satan return. He passes on his journey to hell-gates ; finds them shut, and who sat there to 
guard then ; by whom at length they are opened, and discover to him the great gulf between hell and heaven; 
with what difficulty he passes througli, directed by Chaos, tlie power of that place, to the sight of this new 
world whicli he sought ................. 


God, silting on His throne, sees Satan flying towards this world, then newly created : shows him to the Son, who 
sat at His right hand; foretells the success of Satan in jjervcrling mankind; clears His own justice and wi.'^dom 
from all imputation, having created man free, and able enough to have withstood his tempter; yet declares His 
purpose of grace towards him, in regard he fell not of his own malice, as did Satan, but by him seduced. Tiie 
Son of God renders praise to His Father for the manifestation of His gracious purpose towards man ; but God 
again declares that grace cannot be extended towards man without the satisfaction of Divine justice. Man 
hath offended the majesty of God by aspiring to Godhead, and, therefore, with all his progeny, devoted to 
death, must die unless some one can be found sufficient to answer for his offence, and undergo his punishment. 




The Son of God freely offers himself a ransom for man : the Father accepts Him, ordains His incarnation, 
pronounces His exaltation above all names in heaven and earth ; commands all the angels to adore Him. 
They obey, and by hymning to their harps in full quire, celebrate the Father and the Son. Meariwhile, Satan 
alights upon th^ bare convex of this world's outermost orb ; where wandering, he first finds a place, since called 
the Limbo of Vanity : what persons and things fly up thither : thence comes to the gates of heaven, described 
ascending by stairs, and the waters above the firmament that flow about it : his passage thence to the orb of 
the sun ; he finds there Uriel, the regent of that orb, but first changes himself into the shape of a meaner 
angel ; and, pretending a zealous desire to behold the new creation, and man, whom God had placed there, 
inquires of him the place of his habitation, and is directed : alights first on Mount Niphates . . . .Go 


Satan, now in prospect of Eden, and nigh the place where he must now attempt the bold enterprise which he 
undertook alone against God and man, falls into many doubts with himself, and many passions, fear, envy, and 
despair ; but at length confirms himself in evil, journeys on to Paradise, whose outward prospect and situation 
is described ; overleaps the bounds ; sits in the shape of a cormorant on the tree of life, as the highest in the 
garden, to look about him. The garden described ; Satan's first sight of Adam and Eve ; his wonder at their 
excellent form and happy state, but with resolution to work their fall ; overhears their discourse, thence 
gathers that the tree of knowledge was forbidden them to eat of, under penalty of death ; and thereon intends 
to found his temptation, by seducing them to transgress ; then leaves them awhile to know farther of their 
state by some other means. Meanwhile, Uriel, descending on a sunbeam, warns Gabriel, who had in charge 
the gate of Paradise, that some evil spirit had escaped the deep, And passed at noon by his sphere, in the shape 
of a good angel, down to Paradise, discovered after by his furious gestures in the mount. Gabriel promises to 
find him ere morning. Night coming on, Adam and Eve discourse of going to their rest : their bower 
described; their evening worship. Gabriel, drawing forth his bands of night-watch to walk the rounds of 
Paradise, appoints two strong angels to Adam's bower, lest the evil spirit should be there doing some harm to 
Adam or Eve sleeping ; there they find him at the ear of Eve, tempting her in a dream, and bring him, though 
unwilling, to Gabriel; by whom questioned, he scornfully answers; prepares resistance; but, hindered by a 
sign from heaven, flies out of Paradise -83 


Morning approached. Eve relates to Adam her troublesome dream ; he likes it not, yet comforts her; they come 
forth to their day-labours ; their morning hymn at the door of their bower. God, to render man ine.\cusablc, 
sends Raphael to admonish him of his obedience, of his free estate, of his enemy near at hand, who he is, and 
why his enemy, and whatever else may avail Adam to know. Raphael comes down to Paradise ; his appear- 
ance described ; his coming discerned by Adam afar off, sitting at the door of his bower ; he goes out to meet 
him, brings him to his lodge, entertains him with the choicest fruits of Paradise, got together by Eve ; their 
discourse at table ; Raphael performs his message, minds Adam of his state and of his enemy ; relates, at 
Adam's request, who that enemy is, and how he came to be so, beginning from the first revolt in heaven, and 
the occasion thereof ; how he drew his legions after him to the parts of the north, and there incited them to 
rebel with him, persuading all but only Abdiel, a seraph, who in argument dissuades and opposes him, then 
forsakes him . . . . 115 


Raphael continues to relate how Michael and Gabriel were sent forth to battle against Satan and his angels. The 
first fight described : Satan and his powers retire under night : he calls a council ; invents devilish eiigines, 
which, in the second day's fight, put Michael and his angels to some disorder; but they at length pulling up 
mountains, overwhelm both the force and machines of Satan : yet the tumult not so ending, God, on the third 
day, sends Messiah his Son, for whom he had reserved the glory of that victory ; He, in the power of his 
Father, coming to the place, and causing all his legions to stand still on either side, with his chariot and 
thunder driving into the midst of his enemies, pursues them, unable to resist, towards the' wall of heaven ; 
which opening, they leap down with horror and confusion into the place of punishment prepared for them in 
the deep : Messiah returns with triumph to his Father ... . ..... 143 




Raphael, at the request of Adam, relates how and wherefore tliis world was first created ; that God, after the 
expelling of Satan and his angels out of heaven, declared His pleasure to create another world, and other 
creatures to dwell therein ; sends His Son with glory, and attendance of angels, to perform the work of crea- 
tion in six days : the angels celebrate with hymns the performance thereof, and His re-ascension into Heaven . 171 

BOOK vni. 

Adam inquires concerning celestial motions; is doubtfully answered, and exhorted to search rather things more 
worthy of knowledge ; Adam assents; and, still desirous to detain Raphael, relates to him what he remembered 
since his own creation ; his placing in Paradise ; his talk with God concerning solitude and fit society ; his first 
meeting and nuptials with Eve ; his discourse with the angel thereupon, who, after admonitions repeated, 


Satan, having compassed the earth, with meditated guile returns, as a mist, by night, into Paradise ; enters into 
the serpent sleeping. Adam and Eve in the morning go forth to their labours, which Eve proposes to divide 
in several places, each labouring apart ; Adam consents not, alleging the danger lest that enemy of whom they 
were forewarned, should attempt her, found alone : Eve, loth to be thought not circumspect or firm enough, 
urges her going apart, the rather desirous to make trial of her strength ; Adam at last yields ; the serpent finds 
her alone : his subtle approach, first gazing, then speaking ; with much flattery extolling Eve above all other 
creatures. Eve, wondering to hear the serpent speak, asks how he attained to human speech, and such under- 
standing, not till now ; the serpent answers that, by tasting of a certain tree in the garden, he attained both to 
speech and reason, till then void of both. Eve requires him to bring her to that tree, and finds it to be the 
tree of knowledge, forbidden : the serpent, now grown bolder, with many wiles and arguments induces her at 
length to eat ; she, pleased with the taste, deliberates awhile whether to impart thereof to Adam or not ; at 
last brings him of the fruit : relates what persuaded her to 6at thereof. Adam, at first amazed, but perceiving 
her lost, resolves, through vehemence of love, to perish with her ; and, extenuating the trespass, eats also of 
the fruit : the effects thereof in them both ; they seek to cover their nakedness ; then fall to variance and 
iccusation of one another . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .211 


Man's transgression known, the guardian angels forsake Paradise, and return up to heaven to approve their 
vigilance, and are approved ; God declariiig that the entrance of Satan could not be by them prevented. He 
aends His Son to judge the transgressors; who descends, and gives sentence accordingly; then, in pity, clothes 
them both, and re-ascends. Sin and Death, sitting till then at the gates of hell, by wondrous sympathy feeling 
the success of Satan in this new world, and the sin by man there committed, resolve to sit no longer confined 
in hell, but to follow Satan, their sire, up to the place of man. To make the way easier from hell to this world 
to and fro, they pave a broad highway or bridge over Chaos, according to the track that Satan first made ; 
then, preparing for earth, they meet him, proud of his success, returning to hell ; their mutual gratulation. 
Satan arrives at Pandemonium ; in full assembly relates, with boasting, his success against man ; instead of 
applause is entertained with a general hiss by all his audience, transformed, with himself also, suddenly into 
serpents, according to his doom given in Paradise ; then, deluded with a show of the forbidden tree springing 
up before them, they, greedily reaching to take of the fruit, chew dust and bitter ashes. The proceedings of 
Sin and Death; God foretells the final victory of His Son over them, and the renewing of all things ; but, for 
the present, commands His angels to make several alterations in the heavens and elements. Adam, more and 
more perceiving his fallen condition, heavily bewails, rejects the condolement of Eve ; she persists, and at 
length appeases him : then, to evade the curse likely to fall on their offspring, proposes to Adam violent 
ways, which he approves not ; but, conceiving better hope, puts her in mind of the late promise made them, 
that hor seed should be revenged on the serpent ; and exhorts her, with him, to seek peace of the offended 
Deity, by repentance and supplication 247 



The Son of God presents to His Father the prayers 6f our first parents now repenting, and intercedes for them : 
God accepts them, but declares that they must no longer abide in Paradise ; sends Michael with a band of 
cherubim to dispossess them , but first to reveal to Adam future things : Michael's coming down. Adam 
shows to Eve certain ominous signs : he discerns Michael's approach ; goes out to meet liim : the angel 
denounces their departure. Eve's lamentation. Adam pleads, but submits : the angel leads him up to a high 
hill ; sets before him in vision what shall happen till the flood 


The Angel Michael continues, from the flood, to relate what shall succeed ; then, in the mention of Abraham, 
comes by degrees to explain who that seed of the woman shall be which was promised Adam and Eve in the 
fall : His incarnation, death, resurrection, and ascension ; the state of the Church till His second coming. 
Adam, greatly satisfied and re-comforted by these relations and promises, descends the hill with Michael ; 
wakens Eve, who all this while had slept, but with gentle dreams composed to quietness of mind and sub- 
mission. Michael, in either hand leads them out of Taradise, the fiery sword waving behind them, and the 
cheriibLm taking their stations to guard the place '. 


T7ARLY in the reign of Elizabeth, there dwelt at Holton, in Oxfordshire, or 
near to it, a substantial yeoman, named Milton. An ancestor of this 
person, it was said, had been a man of some position among the gentry in those 
parts, but having taken the losing side during the Wars of the Roses, had been 
reduced to much lower circumstances. The Milton we have mentioned, how- 
ever, could send his son, John Milton, to Oxford for his education. The father 
adhered to the creed which prevailed before the Reformation ; the son, while 
a student at Christchurch, renounced the faith of his forefathers, and avowed 
himself a Protestant; whereupon his father disinherited and disowned him.' 

But the younger Milton, though he became, in this manner, virtually 
fatherless, does not appear to have been disheartened. Leaving Oxford, we 
find him, some years later, in London, where he has so made his way through 
a scrivener's — or, as we should now Say, an attorney's — office, as to have 
become himself a scrivener. About the year 1600 he married. If we credit 
Philips, the grandson of the now prosperous citizen, his wife was " of the family 
of the Castons, derived originally from Wales;" and if so, John Milton the 
poet, as born of this marriage, must have had, in common with Shakespeare, 
a dash of Celtic blood in his veins, and might have owed something, in his 
higher temperament, to the fervent and imaginative genius of a people whom 
he describes as "an ancient and haughty race," and with whose ancient and 
beautiful fictions he never ceased to be enamoured. But Antony Wood says, 
on the authority of Aubrey, who knew the family, that the mother of the poet 
was " Sarah, of the ancient family of the Bradshaws." We incline to think, 
however, that Philips, though not so safe a witness generally as Aubrey, wa^:' 
not likely to have been in error on so familiar a point of family history, 
especially when committing himself to the writing of a life of Milton. Mrs. 
Philips, the sister of the poet, must surely have known the maiden name of 
her own mother. It may be that Philips and Aubrey are both right. The 
mother of Milton's mother may have been a Bradshaw married to a Caston ; 

Aubrey's Lives. Philips' Life of Milton. 



and if so, the relation of the Miltons to the Bradshaws would not have been 
forgotten. It is difficult to imagine that either Philips or Aubrey could have 
expressed themselves so positively in this matter without warrant ; and, in this 
view, we are not obliged to suppose that they really did so. Philips, always a 
Royalist, may not have cared to give prominence to the name of Bradshaw, 
and Aubrey may have had a feeling prompting him the other way. Down 
to the time of this marriage, the home of the Bradshaws had been almost 
confined to Lancashire and Cheshire, and in those counties intermarriages with 
the Welsh was by no means uncommon.' 

Six children were the offspring of this marriage, three of whom died in 
infancy. John, the poet, was one of the remaining three, and was born in 
Bread Street, London, September 9th, i6c8. He grew up with a sister some 
years older than himself, and with a brother seven year^ younger. The home 
of this family during Milton's early years was in the heart of the city — 
Bread Street being a street branching off from Cheapside. The house was 
distinguished from the rest by the sign of the Spread Eagle placed upon it — 
such signs being to houses in that day, especially to houses of any kind of 
business — ^what numbers are at present. Of the Bread Street of Milton's youth 
not a vestige remains; it was swept away by the great fire in 1666. But the 
new houses were built upon the old sites, so that the street is perpetuated. 
As we pass along, it is left to the imagination to displace all the visible 
erections, and to recall the lofty buildings of wood and plaster, carved and 
coloured in quaint fashions, and projecting, storey above storey, until small 
space, perhaps, is left for a strip of blue or misty sky to be seen above. 
Citizens, as a rule, then lived in the city. The lower parts of those somewhat 
heavy and gloomy but picturesque structures, were assigned to business ; the 
upper floors were the homes of the citizen families, even in the case, for the 
greater part, of the most wealthy. 

Young Milton would know Bread Street as it was, the "Cheap" as it 
was. He would make his excursions through Paternoster Row, long before 
the booksellers had dropped, one by one, from their old quarters in St. Paul's 
Churchyard, into that tunnel of a thoroughfare, and w^ere to make it memorable 
as the mart of publishers. St. Paul's itself, too — the old Gothic building, we 
mean, large enough to have enclosed the present within its walls, and with 
room to spare — must soon have become familiar to the future poet. He must 
often have trod its promenade along its great centre, where crowds of well- 
dressed idlers might be daily seen, whose noise and buzz, as they walked and 
talked, gave the place the air of an exchange more than of a place for 

* Masson's Life of Milton. 



religious vv^orship; serving as an outlet for news and gossip of all sorts, as 
newspapers did not then exist to be the carriers of such wares. 

Of his father, Milton says — and with a pride which is to his own honour — 
that " he was a man of the highest integrity." Later he writes : " I had, from 
my early years, by the ceaseless diligence and care of my father — whom God 
recompense — been exercised to the tongues, and some sciences, as my age would 
suffer, by sundry masters and teachers, both at home and at the schools."' 
And, later still, he says : " My father destined me, while yet a little child, for 
the study of humane letters. Both at the grammar school and at home he 
caused me to be instructed daily."^ We know also, from other sources, that 
the elder Milton must have been a man of considerable culture, and that he 
was not only fond of music, but excelled as a composer. Lines harmonised 
by his skill still hold a place in our English psalmody ; and one of them 
might be heard in his time as a lullaby on the lips of almost every nurse.- 
Aubrey describes him as "an ingeniose man;" and his grandson. Philips, records 
of him, that while assiduous in business, he was not so wedded to it as to 
have denied himself intervals of relaxation and self-improvement. He lived to 
see a green old age, being eighty-four years of age when he died. Concerning 
the partner of the good man's pilgrimage, Milton writes, that "she was a most 
excellent mother, and known by her charities in the neighbourhood."'^ 

The minister of the parish , in which Bread Street was included, was a 
man of some mark among the Puritan clergy; and the home of the Miltons 
was pervaded by a piety of that graver type. We have no reason to suppose, 
however, that the religious training to which Milton was subject, was ever felt 
by him as irksome or unreasonable. The serious and religious spirit which 
was to become so conspicuous in him in later life, seems to have been charac- 
teristic of him from his earlier years. But his Puritanism through life, and in 
the home, we doubt not, in which he imbibed it, was not of a narrow and 
repulsive cast. He always wore his hair long, and, so far, might be classed 
with the Cavaliers rather than with the Roundheads. He grew up a reader 
of Shakespeare, and of all the good poetry accessible to him in his own or in 
other languages. He was a Puritan in so far as Puritanism meant piety and 
freedom, and no further. 

We have abundant evidence that Milton's capacity began to develop 
itself very early. We know that when not more than ten years of age 

• Reasons of Church Government, book ii. 
° Dcfensio Secunda. 

^ The tunes known as Norwich and York, Masson's Life of Milton. The fact that Milton, when writing to his 
father, on plans imder consideration between them, should have sent his thoughts to him in the form of an extended 
piece in Latin verse is evidence enough that the scrivener must have been a scholarly person. (See Ad Patrein, Poemata.) 

* De/ensio Secunda. 



the family had come to look upon him as a wonderfully gifted boy, and 
were astonished as they read the verses even then composed by him. In 
that religious age, nothing could be more natural than that in the purpose 
of such parents, such a child should have been dedicated to the Church. 
Milton himself relates that such was their intention concerning him, and that 
his own early inclinations tended that way. It was with this view, no doubt, 
that he was sent to St. Paul's Grammar School, then a flourishing foundation, 
and not more than five minutes' walk from his home. 

Milton was about ten years of age when this transition from home 
tuition to the training of a public school took place. The spirit in which he 
prosecuted his studies in his schoolboy days he has himself described. 
Speaking of the "humane letters" to the culture of which his father had 
separated him, he says, "Which I seized with such eagerness, that from 
the twelfth year of my age I scarcely ever went from my lessons to bc;d 
before midnight; which, indeed, was the first cause of injury to my eyes, to 
whose natural weakness there was also added frequent headaches. All which 
not retarding my impetuosity in learning, he caused me to be daily instructed, 
both at the grammar school and under other masters at home ; and then, 
when I had acquired various tongues, and also some not insignificant taste 
for the sweetness of philosophy, he sent me to Cambridge."' Aubrey and 
Philips both attest this much concerning him, and Wood adopts their state- 
ments. So Milton passed from boyhood to youth, and he has borne grateful 
testimony to the breadth and liberality of the encouragements given to his 
pursuits by his father as he grew in years. The following is translated from 
a Latin poem addressed to his father: — "When, at your expense, I had 
obtained access to the eloquence of the tongue of Romulus, and to the delights 
of Latium, and the great words becoming the mouth of Jove, uttered by the 
magniloquent Greeks, yott tJien advised me to add the flowers which are the 
pride of Gaul, and the speech which the new Italian, attesting the barbarian 
inroads by his diction, pours forth from his degenerate mouth, and the 
mysteries which are spoken by the prophet of Palestine."^ Happy the youth 
who had a father to whom it became him to make such acknowledgments, 
and who had a home to look back upon so full of grateful memories I 

In his school experiences, also, Milton appears to have been, upon the 
whole, fortunate. Mr. Gill, the head-master of St. Paul's in his time, was a 
man competent in most respects to his vocation, and he had a son with 
him as an assistant during a part of Milton's schoolboy days, with whom 
the young poet formed a rather strong friendship. Young Gill, indeed, was 

Defensio Seainda. 

' Ad Patrem. Masson's Milton, p. 67. 



hardly the man we should have expected Milton to have sought as a friend. 
He had nothing of . the stately decorum of the pedagogue about him. His 
brusque and rash ways did not minister to his father's comfort or to his own ; 
but he was some ten years older than Milton, was a good classic, had printed 
Latin and Greek verses, and made his intercourse with the youth from 
Bread Street so profitable to him that Milton was constrained to speak of it 
in after years with much gratitude. Many an attempt in verse, we can 
suppose, was submitted by him to the judgment of his senior friend, and 
assistance obtained in many a difficulty in his general studies. 

On the I2th of February, 1625, Milton entered Christ's College, Cambridge, 
as a "lesser pensioner," which was a middle position between that of a "fellow 
commoner," who paid the most, and that of a " sizer," who paid the least. All 
received the same education, but the difference in payment secured a difference 
in domestic privileges. The students and officials of Christ's College at that 
time, when all were assembled, numbered about two hundred and fifty; the 
students in the university were nearly three thousand. In Christ's College, 
the most remarkable man was Joseph Meade, fellow and tutor, well known to 
divines by his Clains Apocalyptica and his studies in that direction ; and now 
better known to the students of English history by his letters, full of the news 
and gossip of the hour. Many of those letters have been recently printed. 
Meade was wont to say freely, "I like to know how the world goes;" and 
fortunately for those who came within his reach, his genial nature prompted 
him to communicate readily the intelligence which he had been so eager to 
acquire. He must, in fact, have been the newspaper of his college ; and if any man 
there was very ignorant of what was passing in Parliament, Court, or Country, 
the blame must have been his own. Milton, we may be sure, would not have 
been thus at fault. The next man of mark in Christ's College was William 
Chappell, also fellow and tutor, and, for a time, Milton's tutor. Chappell could 
dispute in Latin, after the old scholastic fashion still in vogue, with much 
keenness and readiness. But he was of the school of Laud in ecclesiastical 
affairs, and does not seem to have possessed the sort of power necessary to 
impress capable and independent minds.' 

Milton's connection with Cambridge extended through seven years, from 
1625, when in the seventeenth year of his age, to 1632, when in his twenty- 
third year. In respect to public affairs those years were memorable. James I. 
had breathed his last. Charles nad prosecuted his struggle with his Parliament, 
and had at length resolved on the perilous experiment of attempting to rule 

' Mitford — Masson. See many of Meade's Letters, as published by Lllis ; and frequent citations from those in MS. 
in the third vohimc of Revolutions in English History. 




England without convening any such assemblies. The war with France had 
been added to the war with Spain; and both, after becoming the cause of much 
disorder and suffering through the country, had reached a disgraceful close. 
The Duke of Buckingham had been cut off by the dagger of Felton, and the 
government came to rest in the hands of Charles and Laud. The names of the 
popular leaders in the Commons — the Eliots, the Cokes, and the Seldens, had 
been ringing in the ears of the country, and the harsh treatment to which men 
of that order were subjected, had called forth comments of all kinds, in all 
places. The stronger nien among the Parliamentarians muttered their prophesy 
that affairs would be worse and then better. It was a matter of grateful recol- 
lection to such men that the Petition of Right had its place on our statute- 
book, constituting as it did a signal landmark in our constitutional history. 

The events of this interval in Cambridge were 'not of a remarkable 
description. The election of Buckingham to the office of Chancellor, in 
obedience to the pleasure of the king, filled one half of the university with a 
sense of humiliation, and prompted the other half to acts of sycophancy which 
verged not a little upon the ludicrous. Then, some while after, came the 
installation of his Grace, with all the honours and flatteries deemed suitable to 
the occasion. Subsequently the king and queen favoured the university with 
their presence, and a hectic flush of loyalty attended the event, which deceived 
no one who could look beneath the surface. 

The course of study while Milton was at Cambridge, was still in its 
process of transition from the old middle-age form towards that which has since 
obtained. The fame of the university in its study of mathematics was wholly 
to come. Not until some thirty years after Milton had left was a chair 
separated to that science. The elements of geometry, indeed, were not entirely 
overlooked, but the first rank was assigned to philology, theology, and 
philosophy — -the latter term having respect mainly to logic and metaphysics. 
Lectures were delivered by university professors, which the students of the 
various colleges were expected, more or less, to attend. The tutorial work in 
each college, though systematically carried on, had not then superseded the 
function of the university professor, as in later times. In every college the 
students were separated into sections, and were placed in connection with 
different tutors. The comparative merits of the students was ascertained, not by 
the kind of examination now usual, but by the set disputations carried on in 
Latin in the college chapel. Such disputations, coming to the turn of each 
man but rarely, together with readings with the tutor, and private reading, 
made up the routine from which a university education was to be realised.' 

• Masson's Life of Milton. 



We should conclude, without any direct testimony on the subject, that 
Milton acquitted himself creditably in his class with his tutors, that he took 
his full share in the chapel disputations, and that he was not negligent of 
private reading. We know more, however, from authentic sources, on this 
subject, than we should have felt at liberty to suppose, apart from such 
evidence. His nephew Philips says, that "for the extraordinary wit' and 
reading he had shown in his performances to attain his degree," he v/as 
" loved and admired by the whole university, particularly by the fellows, and 
the most ingenious persons of his house." Aubrey states that " he was a very 
hard student in the university, and performed all the exercises there with very 
great applause." Wood is still more emphatic, stating that as during his school- 
days, three years before, so at college, " 'twas usual with him to sit up till 
midnight at his book, which was the first thing that brought his eyes into the 
danger of blindness;" that "he profited exceedingly by his indefatigable study, 
and performed his collegiate and academical exercises to the admiration of all, 
and was accounted to be a virtuous and sober person, yet not to be ignorant 
of his own parts." In 1642, one of his assailants described him as having 
spent a riotous youth at the university, and as having been at length " vomited 
thence." To which Milton replies, " For which commodious lie, that he may 
be encouraged in the trade another time, I thank him ; for it has given me an 
apt occasion to acknowledge publicly, with all grateful mind, that more than 
ordinary respect which I found, above any of my equals, at the hands of those 
courteous and learned men, the fellows of that college wherein I spent some 
years, who, at my parting, after I had taken two degrees, as the manner is, 
signified, in many ways, how much better it would content them that I should 
stay, as by many letters, full of kindness and loving respects, both before that 
time and long after, I was assured of their singular good affection towards 
me."2 It should be borne in mind that these statements were published 
within ten years after his leaving Cambridge, when the men who might have 
refuted them, had they been untrue, were most of them living. 

The time was to come in which Milton was to side publicly with the 
Parliament, and to plead for great changes in Church and State, not sparing 
the universities. When that time came, nothing would be more natural than 
that his opponents' should go back to his university life; and if that season, 
so rarely faultless in the case of any man, could be made to yield any bit of 
scandal, not only would the most be made of it, but much would be grafted 
upon it. Now it did so happen that in Milton's second year a quarrel took 
place between him and his tutor, Chappell, and Dr. Bainbridge, the master, was 

' This word was used at the time in the sense of capacity or genius. 

Apology for SmeclyiiiHuiiS, 



obliged to interfere. The result, it seems, was, that Milton was required to 
absent himself for a season, or that he chose to do so. But the absence was 
not long. It occurred in the Lent term of 1626, and it did not occasion the 
loss of a term. When Milton returned, another person, named Tovey, became 
his tutor. 

But on these facts something more has been grounded. Dr. Johnson, with 
the temper characteristic of his whole criticism on Milton, says, " There is 
reason to believe that Milton was regarded in his college with no great fond- 
ness. That he obtained no fellowship is certain ; but the unkindness with 
which he was treated was not merely negative. I am ashamed to relate what 
I fear is true, that Milton was one of the last students in either university that 
suffered the public indignity of corporal punishment." Now, we have seen 
that nothing could be more untrue than the first part of this assumption — viz., 
that Milton experienced a general unfriendliness from the men of his college; 
and the other insinuation, which points to a special indignity inflicted upon 
him, is, in our judgment, equally without foundation. The only apparent 
evidence in support of this imputation is in one of Aubrey's manuscripts. 
Writing on the authority of Christopher Milton, Aubrey says that Milton 
received " some unkindness " from the hands of Chappell ; and over the word 
"unkindness," the words "whipt him," are subsequently interlined. Whence 
this later account comes no one knows. Beyond a doubt, punishment in that 
degrading form was still administered both in Cambridge and in Oxford, but 
much less frequently than in former times, and rarely ever in the case of 
youths not under sixteen. But in the spring of 1626 Milton was in his 
eighteenth year ! Looking at the case altogether, we are satisfied that we have 
here one of the many inventions which were flung at a writer who had dared 
to assail, and with a bold hand, the prejudices and the selfish passions of the 
generation about him.' 

We have abundant evidence that the early life of Milton, while free from 
any affectation of purity or goodness, as from affectations of all kinds, was 
a life of seriousness, and of chastity in a high sense of that word. But his 

' "Dr. Johnson, who was meanly an.xious to revive this sLinder against Milton, as well as some others, had supposed 
Milton himself to have this flagellation in his mind, and indirectly to confess it, in one of his Latin poems, where, speaking 
of Cambridge, and declaring that he had no longer any pleasure in the thought of rc-visiting that university, he says— 

' Nec duri libet usque minus preferre magistris, 
Caeteraque ingenio non subuenda meo.' 

This last line the malicious critic v/ould translate 'y\nd other things insufferable to a man of my temper.' But ingenium 
IS properly expressive of the intellectual constitution, whilst it is the moral constitution that suffers degradation fiom 
personal chastisement — the sense of honour, of personal dignity, of justice, &c. Indoles is the proper term for this laztcr 
idea, and in using the word ingenium there cannot be a doubt that Milton alluded to the dry scholastic disputations, 
which were shocking and odious to his fine poetical genius. If, therefore, the vile story is still to be kept up in order to 
dishonour a great man, at any rate let it not in future be pretended that any countenance to such a slander can be diawp 
from the confessions of the poet himself." De Quincey, Works, xv. 317, 318 ; Masson's Life 0/ Milton. 



seriousness was a manly seriousness ; it had no tincture of gloom, nothing 
of narrowness. His chastity, too, was not only a fact, but a fact sustained, 
in his case, by views which even pure men might regard as too ideal and 
mystical to be adapted to a world like ours. In his estimation, failure in that 
virtue was more culpable in man than in woman, as betraying weakness in the 
nature that should be the stronger and the nobler. His lines on Hobson the 
carrier show that he was not without his seasons of playful humour; and his 
letter to his friend Diodati, in the spring of 1626, shows that while in London 
he sometimes went to see what was doing in the theatres. At a later time, 
indeed, being accused by some of his clerical opponents of writing like a 
person who had been too familiar with the play-house, he deemed it well to bid 
his censors look at home, in the following terms : " But since there is such 
necessity in the hearsay of a tira, a periwig, or a vizard, that plays must have 
been seen, what difficulty was there in that, when, in the college, so many of the 
young divines, and those of next aptitude to divinity, have been seen so often 
upon the stage, writhing and unboning their clerical limbs to all the antic and 
dishonest gestures of Trinculoes, buffoons, and bawds, prostituting the shame 
of that ministry, which either they had, or were nigh having, to the eyes of the 
courtiers and court ladies, with their grooms and mademoiselles ? There, while 
they acted and over-acted, among other young scholars, I was a spectator : they 
thought themselves gallant men, and I thought them fools ; they made sport, 
and I laughed ; they mispronounced, and I misliked ; and to make up the 
Atticism, they were out, and I hissed."' The reference here seems to be, to 
the great performance before the king and queen in Cambridge in 1629. The 
description indicates the kind of taste which Milton would have exacted from 
the drama ; and it gives us a glimpse of the young Milton of Christ's, as he 
joins, "with other young scholars," in showing his contempt of the blundering 
performance, until, at last, he hisses them outright. 

In fact, though Milton declined the priestly function in the English Church, 
he was not, in his own conception, the less a priest on that account. The 
priesthood to which he aspired was the bardic priesthood. The inspiration he 
sought was that which had come upon the old prophets — an inspiration which 
might come upon them as laymen, but which raised them to a level with the 
most sacred themes. In his apprehension, a poet of the order which he hoped 
to become, should be, must be, a consecrated man. The singer of Bacchanalian 
songs may be himself Bacchanalian ; but a poet who would ascend to things 
celestial must not be of the earth, earthy. The evil inseparable from our 
nature may qualify him to depict evil ; but if he is to make men feel how 

Apology for Smectymnuus. 



awful goodness is, he must have striven hard towards those higher regions 
of being where goodness rules. In all art, the truly religious element must 
come from religious men. Genius without sanctity may touch the ark, but it 
will be but to profane it. However much at home in other regions, if the 
special faculty for this region be wanting, success will be wanting. In art, as 
in religion, the natural man does not discern spiritual things. 

The current doctrine is, that men of poetical and artistic power will always 
be very much the creatures of imagination and sensibility, and, in consequence, 
will be subject to alternations of elevation or depression, in the most capricious 
forms — even their morals and religion being subject to these laws in their 
nature, or, rather, to this absence of law. The life of Milton is not the only 
life of its class which belies this foolish and mischievous doctrine. He not 
only felt its fallacy, but that feeling became a profound conviction, governing 
his whole life. By reflection on this matter, he writes, " I was confirmed in 
this opinion, that he who would not be frustrate of his hope to write well 
hereafter in laudable things, ought himself to be a true poem — that is, a com- 
position and pattern of the best and honourablest things ; not presuming to 
sing high praises of heroic men or famous cities, unless he have in himself the 
experience and the practice of all that is praiseworthy."' 

What marvel if a young mind in Cambridge, with thoughts of this nature 
struggling to get form and fixedness, should have been, to a great extent, a 
mind dwelling apart? What marvel if such a youth is found to lament the 
all but total absence of persons with conceptions or sympathies at all of this 
order among those who were about him ? - That the collapse and reserve 
following from such a sense of isolation should have been construed as the 
evidence of a haughty temper, and of undue self-esteem, was no more than 
might have been expected. In some connections, to make men enemies, you 
have only to allow them to suspect that you deem them inferiors. It is clear 
that from these causes Milton suffered during the early days of his college 
course. Something of haughtiness there probably was in his manner, but 
much that had that appearance came from another source. His self-esteem, 
too, was considerable ; but it was calm, intelligent, and such as his intelligence 
would not have allowed him to throw off, even if he had endeavoured to do 
so. His superiority was a fact, and it would have been affectation in him to 
have seemed to be unconscious of it. Every one has heard that from his fair 

' Apology for Sinectymnuus. 

^ It is thus he writes after about two years' residence in college: "Truly, among us here, as far as I know, there 
are hardly one or two, here and there, who do not fly off unfeathered in theology, while all but rude and uneducated in 
philology, as well as in philosophy, content too lightly to pick up as much theology as may suffice for anyhow sticking 
together a little sermon, and stitching it over with worn rags from other quarters." Letter to Alexandc Gill, July 2, 1628 ; 
M nsson's Li/^ of Milton^ 164-5. This discontent with the men, and a discontent, no less markedj with the routine of 
the place, was not a mood likely to make many friends; yet who can wonder at the feeling ^ 



complexion, and the beauty of his features, he sometimes went by the name of 
"the lady of Christ's." But it was well known that he was a good swords- 
man ; and Wood says, " His deportment was affable, his gait erect and manly, 
bespeaking courage and undauntedness." 

Milton must have commenced the study of Hebrew when very young. 
The earliest poetry that has reached us from his pen consists of his paraphrases 
on the 114th and 136th Psalms. Those attempts, he tells us, were made in 
his fifteenth year. There is a stately and vigorous tone in them, of the kind 
which was to be characteristic of his later v/ritings. His next poetical com- 
position known to us dates nearly a year after his connection with Cambridge. 
It is a poem entitled, " On the Death of a Fair Infant." The infant was the 
child of his sister Philips. The verses exhibit a rich play of fancy, and are full 
of conceptions and expressions which only a true poet would have been abie 
to command. The " Vacation Exercise," which stands next in order, was 
written some twelve months later, and is chiefly interesting as showing how 
the young poet could manipulate the dry logic of the schools, when disposed to 
exercise his skill on such subjects. The hymn which followed, " On the 
Morning of Christ's Nativity," is of another order. It is a glorious utterance, 
worthy of its subject. In the judgment of Mr. Hallam, it may, perhaps, be 
said to be the most beautiful hymn in our language. It was produced for 
the Christmas of 1629. Immediately afterwards the pieces on the " Circum- 
cision " and the " Passion " were written ; but at the eighth verse of the piece 
last named, the poet stayed his hand, and at a later time subjoined the 
following statement of his reason for so doing: "This subject the author 
finding to be above the years he then had when he wrote it, and nothing 
satisfied with what was begun, left unfinished." Critics have regarded this 
judgment as a sound one. His sixteen lines "On Shakespeare" are supposed to 
have been written on a blank leaf of a copy of the works of the great dramatist, 
•probably on a copy of the first folio edition. In 1632 we find them, with other 
verses of the same kind, prefixed to the second edition of that collection, but 
they are printed anonymously. The fact, however, of their appearing there is 
interesting, from their being the first lines of Milton that, so far as we know, 
had then found their way into print at all. The piece, from about the same 
time, on listeniug to "Solemn Music," is quite Miltonic in its cast: — 

That undisturbed song of pure content, 

Aye sung before the saphire coloured throne, 

To Him who sits thereon, 

With saintly shout and solemn jubilee : 

Where the bright seraphims in burning row. 

And the cherub host in thousand quires, 

Touch their immortal harps of golden wires. 

With those just saints that wear victorious palms, 

Hymns devout and holy psalms, 

Sing everlastingly. 



The Marchioness of Winchester was a lady of great beauty, beloved foi 
her benevolence, and reverenced for her extraordinary endowments. An 
inflammation, which passed from her face to her throat, carried her off almost 
suddenly, and while in a state of pregnancy. Her death was widely and 
deeply deplored, and called forth poetical tributes to her memory from Ben 
Jonson, Davenant, and some other well-known names. Milton also brought 
his lament, under the title of " An Epitaph on the Marchioness of Winchester." 
Of this production it will be enough to say, that the young poet of Christ's did 
not suffer from being brought into comparison on this occasion with the 
veterans in his art. We only need direct the attention of the reader to the 
sonnet on his reaching " The age of twenty-three," to his lines on " Time," 
and to those on Hobson, the " University Carrier," to complete our account of 
the known English poetry of Milton during his seven ' years of residence at 

But Milton's poetry in Latin during his student years was not incon- 
.siderable. No fragment of it, however, passed into print during that period ; 
and it has been generally accepted as evidence of his scholarship, rather than 
as presenting a fitting vehicle for the action of his genius as a poet. 

If Milton was dissatisfied with the aids to culture which he found in 
Cambridge, it should be remembered that Gibbon was much more dissatisfied 
with Oxford on that ground a century later, and a man like the poet Words- 
worth may be found expressing himself somewhat after the same manner even 
in our time. But the truth is, in the best colleges and in the best times, 
the man who gets no more education than tutorial oversight and help may 
secure to him will get very little. Milton, no doubt, ow^ed something to 
his tutor Tovey ; but more, immensely more, to that wider tutoring of 
society and of books which gave its influence to the voluntary action of his 
nature. The things which grow in the soul are things more or less native 
to it. To educate the mind is to draw out its power, and the power must be 
there, or it cannot be educed. All gifted minds have been conscious ot 
this fact. It was thus eminently with the man who was to become the author 
of " Paradise Lost." 

Milton did not seem to be in haste to decide on his walk in life. His 
course was so apparently aimless, down even to the last year of his time 
in Cambridge, that a friend, to whose judgment he owed some deference, 
appears to have expostulated with him on that ground. In a carefully-written 
letter he attempts to vindicate himself. He denies being governed by a mere 
love of learning. Were he influenced by no stronger motive, there were 
considerations, such as the desire of " home and family," or of " honour and 
repute," that would soon overpower that motive. But the love of learning 


being good in itself, may beget such a reverence of what should be done with it 
as to dispose a man to hazard the charge of being late in the field, rather than 
incur the reproach of appearing there not duly equipt. He then transcribes 
for his friend the sonnet he had written, when arrived at the age of twenty- 
three, as evidence that he had not been without thought on this subject. The 
friend so addressed evidently hoped to see him a parish priest. Milton does 
not express, on this occasion, any conscientious objection to becoming a clergy- 
man — as a Cambridge student, and as Cambridge was then governed, it was 
not likely that he would do so. We have good reason to think that he felt 
scruples on that point even then. But he had enough to urge in self-defence, 
without touching upon matters which Laud and his instruments were doing 
their best to punish as crimes. Ten years later he had cast aside all such 
reticence. He then says, as we have seen, that by his parents and friends he 
was destined, "of a child," to the church, and that his own inclination tended 
that way, " till coming to some maturity of years, and perceiving what tyranny 
had invaded the church," he saw clearly " that he who would take orders must 
subscribe slave, and take an oath withal, which, unless he took with a con- 
science that would retch, he must straight perjure himself, or split his faith." 
He thought it good, therefore, " to prefer a blameless silence, before the sacred 
office of speaking, bought and began with servitude and forswearing." He 
speaks of himself, accordingly, as a man " Church-ousted by the prelates," and 
as possessing a right, in return, to criticise both the church and her rulers.' 

Milton, we have reason to think, had his moments in which he thought 
of giving himself to the law. But his writings, in prose and verse, before 
leaving Cambridge, gave his friends the impression that he had a vocation to 
write poetry that would live; and such was, no doubt, the dream of his own 
spirit, when in his higher moods. To this idea he endeavoured, by degrees, 
to reconcile the more conventional sagacity of his worthy father. He reminded 
him of his own passion for music — what marvel if the son of such a father 
should have a passion for poetry? It was painful for him to disappoint the 
hopes of one so well entitled to his reverence and affection ; but in his 
estimation, the silver mines of Peru were of small value compared with the 
power to produce immortal verse. His father, in his generous wisdom, had 
aided him in realising capacity and passion in that form, and must bear with 
him in obeying this current of his nature.^ In this mood Milton left 

By that time the scrivener had relinquished business, and had settled in 
the village of Horton, in Buckinghamshire, with the intention, apparently, of 

' 'i'he Reason of Self-Government. 

» Ad Fatrem. 




passing the evening of his days in that retreat. How it went with the son 
during the next five years of his life, he has himself stated in few words. 
" At my father's country residence," he says, " whither he had retired to pass 
his old age, I, with every advantage of leisure, spent a complete holiday 
in turning over the Greek and Latin writers; not but that sometimes I 
exchanged the country for the town, either for the purpose of buying books 
or for that of learning something new in mathematics or in music, in which 
sciences I then delighted."' During those five years Milton wrote his sonnet 
on the Nightingale, the Allegro and Penseroso, the Arcades, and Comus, and 
Lycidas. The Nightingale is founded on the bit of rural credulity which 
supposed that to hear the note of that bird in spring before the cuckoo was a 
sign of success in love. Concerning the Allegro and Penseroso, we only need 
repeat that they have their place in the first rank of our idyllic poetry. The 
Arcades is an incomplete production; the omitted portion was probably in 
prose. Harefield, the seat of that distinguished lady, the Countess Dowager of 
Derby, where this dramatic poem was presented, was only a few miles distant 
from Horton. But we have no reason to suppose that Milton was known to 
the family. It is probable that the lines were written at the request of his 
musical friend, Henry Lawes. To a request from that quarter we no doubt 
owe the origin of Cornus, of which we shall speak elsewhere. 

It was during his residence at Horton that Milton was incorporated as a 
member of the University of Oxford. In those days, the standing of a scholar 
in one university might thus give him a place in the other. Oxford was much 
more accessible from Horton than Cambridge. 

It was at Horton, too, and in this interval, that Milton lost " his most 
excellent mother." She lies buried in the chancel of the parish church. By 
the side of that grave Milton must have stood, and have shed his tear with 
his mourning father, his sister, and his brother, as they listened to the earth 
falling on that coffin, and looked their last look into that narrow house to 
which all come in their allotted time. 

It was also towards the close of these five years at Horton, that Edward 
King, of Christ's College, the friend of Milton, perished in the St. George's 
Channel, an event which called forth from the poet the monody under the 
name of Lycidas. The gifted man whose life was thus closed in the twenty- 
fifth year of his age, was looking towards the ministry of the church ; and 
Milton glances at this fact so as to indicate, as clearly as was then safe, his 
own malcontent feeling in relation to the ecclesiastical establishment, and his 
expectation of a coming retribution in that quarter. When this monody was 

' Dcfe'iiiio Secunda. 



reprinted, in 1645, he author could dare to proclaim his whole meaning, and 
he accordingly placed the following sentence at the head of the poem : " In 
this monody, the author bewails a learned friend, unfortunately drowned in 
his passage from Chester, in the Irish seas, 1637; and by occasion foretels the 
rnin of our corrupted clergy, then in their height." But an interval was still 


to pass before this prophecy would be realised. 

We have two letters written by Milton about this time, to his friend 
Diodati, which give us some insight into his habits and inner life. He 
assures his friend that he is a slow man in letter-writing. Another cause of 
his seeming negligence as a correspondent consisted in his inability to mingle 
work and play. In his case, generally, to be committed to a thing was to be 
committed to it without interruption until done, or until he should come to 
some natural resting-place. In some respects, he will not venture to say what 
God may or may not have conferred upon him ; but one gift, at least, has been 
instilled into him — viz., a fervent love of the beautiful, and a passion to seek 
it wherever it may be found. To a commerce with such things he must 
aspire ; and if he should not do so with a success commensurate with his 
hopes, his next effort should be to do fitting homage to those who have been 
more fortunate. He confesses that in this spirit he is pluming his wings, 
moving slowly, but, as he hopes, wisely. It must not be supposed, however, 
that he has no thought of the practical. Far from it. He has some notion of 
taking chambers in one of the Inns of Court ; and thinks it would be pleasant 
to see his friends there, and to saunter with them, on summer evenings, in the 
neighbouring walks.' 

We have no reason to suppose that this last thought was ever acted upon. 
Another idea took much stronger possession of his mind about this time. 
His studies had filled his imagination with visions of the past, associated with 
the Alps, the land of the Apennines, and the regions beyond. How natural 
that he should wish to traverse those countries, to tread the old pathways in 
their ancient cities, and to gaze on the monumental wonders still to be seen 
there. The failing health of his mother may have constrained him to check 
this desire hitherto ; and the fact that since her decease his brother Christopher 
had married, and had come to reside with his father, may have seemed to say 
that the fitting time had now come. The cost of his project would be con- 
siderable, as it was his intention to travel as a gentleman, with his own servant. 
His affectionate father, we may suppose, felt less hesitation on that ground than 
on some others. But his consent was given, and in May, 1638, Milton crossed 
the channel, on his way to Paris. He had been careful to obtain good 

* Masson's Afilio/t, pp. 597-col. 



introductions. One of these came from his distinguished neighbour, Sir Henry 
Wotton, Provost of Eton. The provost had lately become possessed of a copy 
of CoDius, as printed by Henry Lawes, which had delighted him greatly. He 
had also conversed on some occasion with the author, and assures him that the 
pleasure of that interview was such as to have led him to hope for a renewal 
of the "draught," by inviting him to "a poor meal or two," when they "might 
have banded together some good authors." The following is the postscript to 
an epistle from the courteous old provost : — " Sir, — I have expressly sent this 
my footboy to prevent your departure without some acknowledgment from me 
of the receipt of your obliging letter, having myself, through some business, 
I know not how, neglected the ordinary conveyance. In any part where I 
shall understand you fixed, I shall be glad and diligent to entertain you with 
home novelties ; ever for some fomentation of our friendship, too soon inter- 
rupted in the cradle,"' 

On his arrival at Paris, one of Milton's introductions secured him the 
friendly notice of Lord Scudamore, the English ambassador; and through his 
lordship's personal courtesy the young Englishman was introduced to the 
learned Hugo Grotius, then ambassador from the Queen of Sweden to the 
French Court. We know nothing of what passed at this interview, except that 
Grotius is said to have taken " the visit kindly," and to have given his visitor 
"entertainment suitable to his worth, and the high commendations he had heard 
of him. "2 But Grotius was much occupied at that time with a dream about 
strengthening Protestantism by uniting the Episcopalian Churches of that faith — 
in England, Sweden, Denmark, Norway — and passing by all other Protestants, 
If this sorry project was broached to Milton, his response, we may be sure, 
would not be of a very agreeable description. 

Milton's stay in Paris was for a few days only. From Paris he journeyed 
to Nice ; thence he sailed to Genoa, and thence to Leghorn. From Leghorn 
his route was through Pisa to Florence. In the latter city he remained two 
months. Florence was then, as it has been for centuries, the great seat of 
Italian culture. Almost every street had its academy or club, consisting of the 
voluntary associations of scholars, poets, artists, and men of science. By the help 
of introductions obtained in England or Paris, Milton was readily admitted into 
some of the most distinguished of these fraternities. To the enjoyment of this 
privilege it was necessary that some composition from his pen should be 
produced, and this condition was complied with by presenting some of the 
things written by him while at Cambridge, or others written for the purpose. 
Being able to speak both Latin and Italian with correctness and fluency, he 

' Reliqua WottoniaticE. Printed also by Milton, in his edition of Comiis. in 164.5. 

• Philips, 



was at once on a level with his new friends ; and great, it would seem, was 
the pleasure he found in such meetings. When nobly pleading, at a later 
time, for the liberty of the press, he says : " I would recount what I have seen 
and heard in other countries where this kind of inquisition tyrannises ; where 
I have sat among their learned men — for this honour I had — and been counted 
happy to be born in such a place of philosophic freedom as they supposed 
England was, while themselves did nothing but bemoan the servile condition 
into which learning amongst them was brought; that this was it which had 
damped the glory of Italian wits ; that nothing had been there written, now these 
many years, but flattery and fustian." In the company of persons of this order, 
Milton was admitted to the presence and discourse of the great philosopher 
of the age. "There," he says, "it was that I found and visited the famous 
Galileo, grown old, a prisoner to the Inquisition, for thinking in astronomy 
otherwise than the Franciscan and Dominican licensers thought." Milton and 
Galileo face to face ! And Galileo in the state to which the younger man now 
gazing upon him will come— in darkness, blind ! But, for the present, Milton 
enjoys the light — the light of the Italian sky, and, when day has fled, the light 
which gives so much brilliancy to those learned gatherings, and to the higher 
circles of Florence. For it is evident that to the latter Milton had admission, 
and that his heart, guarded as it might be, was not wholly proof against 
impression from the beauty to be seen in those circles. Pieces written by him 
in Florence will be found among his poems, and verses composed there in his 
praise have come down to us — verses which, if they do not show great genius 
in the writers, show clearly enough how unusual must have been the admira- 
tion awakened by the genius of Milton. 

From Florence Milton took his course towards Rome, by way of Sienna. 
In Rome he soon made the acquaintance of Lucas Holstenius, the keeper oi 
the Vatican library, and with little or no introduction. Holstenius had studied 
three years in Oxford — a fact which may in part explain the special courtesy 
which Milton remembered so gratefully. But his courtesy rose into admiration 
as he began to discover the stores of learning possessed by the stranger, and as 
he felt the potency with which he could use his knowledge. So moved was he 
that he must needs sound the praises of his new acquaintance in the hearing 
of Cardinal F. Barbarini, the Pope's relative and his prime minister. A fev\ 
days later, the cardinal gives a grand concert, and among the persons invited 
is the traveller who had so fascinated Holstenius. On which occasion, says 
Milton, the cardinal, waiting at the door, " sought me out in so great a 
crowd, nay, almost laying hold of me by the hand, admitted me within, in a 
manner the most truly honourable." All this, he tells his friend Holstenius, 
must have come from his good offices. It was at the cardinal's, probably, that 



Milton heard Leonora sing — a young and beautiful woman, whose voice and 
Science had made her queen in her department. Milton has apprised us of the 
entranced feeling with which he listened to her notes, by writing no less than 
three epigrams in praise of her skill. Two Romans, Joannes Salsilus and 
Salvaggi — names forgotten in our time, but of some note then — wrote lines on 
Milton, full of extravagant eulogy; and the former was so far esteemed by the 
poet that on hearing subsequently of his illness, Milton addressed lines of 
condolence to him in Latin verse. 

When about two months had been occupied in exploring the remains of 
ancient Rome, and in this sort of intercourse with its modern inhabitants, 
Milton set his face towards Naples. On his way thither, a hermit was 
allowed to share his vehicle with him. The recluse proved to be a man of some 
literary culture, and being charmed by the traveller, very much as Holstenius 
had been before him, on arriving at Naples, he must see that a person of so 
much worth does not leave the place without being introduced to Manso, 
Marquis of Villa, a person of high place in those parts, and the patron of 
genius everywhere. Every one acquainted with the sad history of Torquato 
Tasso must be familiar with the name of John Baptist Manso, his steady and 
generous friend. Manso was now nearly eighty years of age. He received 
Milton courteously, and the effect of the interview we may learn from the fact 
that he became in person the guide of the young scholar to all places of interest 
in Naples and its neighbourhood. "I experienced from him," says Milton, "as 
long as I remained there, the most friendly attentions. He accompanied me to 
the various parts of the city, and took me over the viceroy's palace, and came 
more than once to my lodgings to visit me. At my departure he made earnest 
excuses to me for not having been able to show me the further attention which 
he desired in that city on account of my unwillingness to conceal my religious 
sentiments." Milton's resolve, on leaving home, was, never to obtrude his 
religious views, but never to conceal them when that question should be raised 
by others. But this precaution, it seems, was not enough to secure him against 
inconvenience, nor even from danger ; for when he meditated returning to 
Rome, he was admonished by merchants in Naples that they had learnt by 
letters, that snares were being laid for him by English Jesuits, if he should 
appear again in that city. But return he must, and he would return through 
Rome. He was a good swordsman, and feared nothing, where the strife should 
be man to man. 

It was at Naples that grave tidings reached him in regard to the conflict 
which had grown up between sovereign and subject in England. It was his wish 
to have gone to Sicily, and onwards to Greece ; but on receivino^ such news, he 
says: " I considered it disgraceful that, while my fellow-countrymen were fighting 



at home for liberty, I should be travelling abroad at ease, for intellectual 
purposes." The Scottish nation had swept away, and with a rude hand, all 
the ecclesiastical innovations of Laud and the king. England was in strong 
sympathy with what Scotland had done ; and if civil war had not commenced 
south of the Tweed, thoughtful men saw that it was imminent. When about 
to leave Naples, Milton addressed an epistle to Manso, in Latin hexameters, 
rich in a higher style of poetry than anything which the muse of Tasso had 
inspired in his favour. Manso, in return, presented his friend with two cups, 
of rich workmanship, and with them the following brief but expressive lines. 
The reference in the last line is to the well-known story of the beautiful 
Saxon youths exposed for sale in the Roman slave-market in the time of 
Pope Gregory : — 

"Joannes Baptista Mansus, Marquis of Villa, Neapolitan, to John Milton, Englishman. 

" Mind, form, grace, face, and morals are perfect ; if but thy creed were, 
Then not Anglic alone, truly Angelic thou'dst be." ' 

[t was something to leave this impression on the mind of the first man in 
Naples. "To Rome," says Milton, "I returned, notwithstanding what I had 
been told. What I was, if any man asked, I concealed from no one ; if any 
one in the city of the Pope attacked the orthodox religion, I, as before, for a 
second space of nearly two months, defended it most freely."^ In Florence, as 
in Rome, Milton renewed his intercourse v/ith old friends, and then passed 
through Bologna and Ferrara, to halt for a month in Venice. From Venice his 
track was through Verona and Milan, and over Mount St. Bernard to Geneva, 
In the latter city the traveller remained some weeks ; and then, returning by 
the same route to Paris, he reached England about the end of July, having 
been absent "a year and three months, more or less." This brief account of 
his travels was given when the course he had taken in public affairs had 
exposed him to many unscrupulous party calumnies; and for this reason he 
concludes his statement on this matter in the following words : " I again take 
God to witness that in all those places, where so many things are considered 
lawful, I lived sound and untouched from all profligacy and vice, having this 
thought perpetually with me, that, though I might escape the eyes of men, I 
certainly could not the eyes of God." 

It is observable that all the poetry of Milton written while in Italy, in 
common with nearly everything written by him while in Cambridge, is of a 
grave description. We have seen, that in his noble epistle to Manso, he made 
no secret of intending to give his mind to the writing of an epic poem ; and 
the verses of his friends concerning him, both in Rome and Florence, show 

' Masson's Milton, 

Defensio Sccundtis. 

XXV iii 


that enough had fallen from his lips in those places to have led them to 
expect a work of that nature from his genius. To this time, indeed, no thought 
had come to him of taking the loss of Paradise as his theme. It was the story 
of King Arthur, and of the chivalrous knights and the ladies about him, that 
had hitherto filled his imagination with its glowing pictures. 

When Milton returned to England, his father had relinquished the house 
at Horton, and was residing with his son Christopher at Reading. The 
expense inseparable from the travel of the poet had not prevented his 
purchasing a considerable number of books. Some he brought with him, and 
others were to follow. In fact, we are warranted from circumstances in 
supposing that the means now allowed him were such as to secure him a 
moderate independence. Commercial life, in his case, was not thought of, and 
he had come to be as little disposed towards professional life. If his kind 
father could provide for him, so as to leave him to his books and to his 
literary work, we may be sure he would, and it is obvious that he must have 
so done. 

Milton's first step on his return to London, was to hire part of a house 
in St. Bride's Churchyard. There he lodged his books, and resumed his 
studies. This was sometime towards the close of 1639. But in the following 
year we find him taking a "garden house" — that is, a detached house with a 
garden round it — in Aldersgate Street : a street described as being at that 
time, one of the most quiet and genteel outlets of London. By this time his 
sister Philips had become a widow, and had married again. While in St. 
Bride's Churchyard he had taken her youngest son — a lad of much promise, 
then nine years of age — "to his own charge and care," and now an elder 
nephew was received with him as a boarder. Having generously engaged to 
conduct the education of these lads himself, we find a few others taken with 
them, sons of his personal friends, and with whom he no doubt received a 
liberal acknowledgment for his services. 

At this point in Milton's career, Johnson gives full vent to his bitter 
disaffection towards him. " Let not our veneration for Milton," he writes, 
" forbid us to look with some degree of merriment on great promises and 
small performances ; on the man who hastens home because his countrymen 
are contending for their liberty, and, when he reaches the scene of action, 
vapours away his patriotism in a private boarding-school." Milton tells us 
that he thought it became him at this juncture to leave, " the event of public 
affairs, first to God, and then to those to whom the people had committed that 
task."' But Milton's writings 'are, to a large extent, his biography; and had 

' Defensio Secuiidus. 



Jonnson condescended to read his prose works with the care they merit, the 
following passage must have arrested his attention, and must have sufficed 
somewhat to check his merriment : " Relying on the assistance of God, they — 
the people of England — repelled servitude with the most justifiable war; and 
though I claim no share of their peculiar praise, I can easily defend myself 
against the charge (if any charge of that nature should be brought against me) 
of timidity or of indolence. For I did not for any other reason decline the 
.toils and dangers of war, than that I might, in another way, with much more 
efficacy, and with not less danger to myself, render assistance to my countrymen, 
and discover a mind neither shrinking from adverse fortune, nor actuated by 
any improper fear of calumny or of death. Smce from my childhood I had 
been devoted to the more liberal studies, and was always more powerful in my 
intellect than in my body, avoiding the labours of the camp, in which any 
robust common soldier might easily have surpassed me, I betook myself to 
those weapons which I could wield w ith the most effect, and I conceived that I 
was acting wisely when I thus brought my better and most valuable faculties — 
those which constituted my principal strength and consequence — to the assistance 
of my country and her most honourable cause."' No course that Milton might 
have taken could have exposed him to greater calumny than he braved ; and 
as to its danger, that his head did not fall on the scaffold, as the price of his 
temerity, was to become a matter of wonder to himself and to all men. 

Milton lodged himself and his books in St. Bride's Churchyard in the 
autumn of 1639. He removed from St. Bride's to Aldersgate Street in 1640, 
and he sent out his first blast on the side of the Parliament and of ecclesiastical 
reform in 1641. During eleven years Charles I. had been endeavouring to 
govern England without the aid of a Parliament. His Majesty had deliberately 
su.spended the laws which he had bound himself by oath at his coronation, and 
by solemn pledges since, to uphold. The end of Government is to give security 
to person and property, but that security had passed away. The king taxed the 
subject as he pleased ; sold monopolies in all branches of trade as he pleased ; 
and arrested, fined, and imprisoned real or supposed malcontents as he pleased. 
No one could be safe, except under the conditions of being submissive and silent ; 
and no man knew his own even on those terms. In ecclesiastical affairs, the 
Romanising system sustained by Laud was ascendant, and the great aim of its 
adherents was to suppress all Nonconformity, and all free thought ; to perpetuate 
a hierarchy charged high with priestly elements ; to impose the English Prayer 
Book, not only on the English, but also on the Scots, and to assimilate the 
Anglican ritual to the Roman to such an extent, that scarcely any difference 

' Dtfensio Secunda. 




could be seen between them. This was the policy in relation to the Church 
which Laud regarded as best in itself, and as most in accordance with the new 
policy of the sovereign. • 

But in 1639 Scotland rebelled, and as a nation, denounced and cast oiif 
this whole order of things. The king appealed to his English subjects to 
aid him in suppressing this revolt. The answer given was — to obtain our 
assistance, you must give us back our laws, and allow us the freedom which 
those laws were designed to secure to us for the correction of abuses, and the 
development of our interests as a nation. In 164 1 Charles had resorted to 
every available expedient, in the hope of avoiding compliance with these terms 
— but in vain. He had called an assembly of peers at York. He had dissolved 
the Short Parliament summoned in the spring of 1640 ; and he had been 
obliged to consent to the meeting of the memorable Long Parliament, in the 
November of that year. But, though the sword had been drawn against the 
rule of the king in Scotland, hitherto no weapon had been unsheathed against 
himx in England. Had Milton been never so much disposed, therefore, to fly 
to arms in this controversy, the only way in which he could have done so 
within the first three years after his return from Italy, would have been by 
migrating to Scotland, and joining the ranks of the insurgents in that kingdom. 
In England, during those years, the points at issue were calmly submitted to 
discussion, and both parties protested against the thought of attempting a 
settlement of them by any other means. So much for the justice of the sneer 
in which Johnson found it so pleasant to indulge. 

While these preliminaries were in process, Milton had ample opportunity 
of seeing the extent to which the Royalists were influenced by prejudice and 
misconception, and the importance of attempting to lead the mind of the 
Parliamentarians themselves more thoroughly to the root of the quarrel. He 
might have done this in Parliament had his countrymen given him a place 
there. As circumstances were, the only channel through which he could do the 
State some service was that of the press; and very glad at any time would his 
enemies have been if he could have been induced to forego such means of assault, 
and to have taken to the coarser weapons which multitudes could wield as well 
or better than himself. 

The work issued by Milton in 164 1 was intitled, Of Refovmation in England, 
and the Causes that hitherto have Hindered it. IVritten to a Friend. The writer 
had shown in his Lycidas, that the condition of the Anglican Church was far 
from being satisfactory to him. It is in the following eloquent words that he 
describes the dawn and promise of the Reformation in the sixteenth century : — 
"But to dwell no longer in characterising the depravities of the Church, and how 
they sprang, and how they took increase; when I recall to mind at last, after so 



many dark ages, wherein the huge overshadowing train of error had ahiiost swept 
all the stars out of the firmament of the Church ; how the bright and blissful 
Reformation (by Divine power) strook through the black and settled night of 
ignorance and anti-Christian tyranny, methinks a sovereign and reviving joy 

■ must needs rush into the bosom of him that reads or hears, and the sweet odour 
of the returning Gospel imbathe his soul with the fragrancy of heaven. Then 
was the sacred Bible sought out of the dusty corners where profane falsehood 
and neglect had thrown it ; the schools opened, divine and human learning raked 
out of the embers of forgotten tongues, the princes and cities trooping apace to 
the new erected banner of salvation ; the martyrs, with the irresistible might ol 
weakness, shaking the powers of darkness, and scorning the fiery rage of the 
old red dragon." From this language the reader will judge of the fervent and 
earnest style in which this treatise is written. The onward course to have been 
expected from such a change had been checked. The causes had been many, 
and among them a bad precedence is given to the bishops, whose love of pomp 
and power, a natural result of the false position assigned them, is said to have 
made them the grand corrupters, in place of being, according to their title, 
spiritual fathers of the Church,. 

This publication must have appeared early in 164 1. It was soon followed 
by the Htunble Remonstrance in Favour of Episcopacy, from the pen of Hall, 
Bishop of Norwich, who was urged to take the field on this question by 
Archbishop Laud. In answer to the Bishop, a work was speedily issued 
bearing the title of Smectymmms, a name formed from the initials of the 
five Puritan divines who were concerned in producing it. This rejoinder brought 
Archbishop Usher into the conflict. Milton replied^ to his lordship's Apostolical 
Institution of Episcopacy in two treatises, intitled, Of Prelatical Episcopacy, 
and Reasons of Church Government. Bishop Hall now published a defence 
of his Remonstrance, which was quickly followed by Animadversions from 
Milton. All these publications made their appearance before the close of 164 1. 

Deep, manifestly, was the impression made by Milton's writings. In 1642, 
a volume came forth intitled, A Modest Confutation against a Slanderous 
and Scurrilous Libel. This was generally regarded as coming from the 
pen of Bishop Hall's son. To the unprincipled attacks made upon Milton's 
private character in this work, he replied triumphantly in his Apology 

for Smectymnuus. 

The issue of the passionate controversy on this subject was to be seen, first 
in the removal of the bishops from the House of Lords, and, finally, in the 
suppression of the order. To show how far the writings of Milton contributed 
to this result, it would be necessary to analyse them, and the design of this brief 
memoir precludes us from dwelling on such questions. 



The Stormy 1641 and 1642 having passed, we find Milton left in com- 
parative quiet to his pupils, or to meditate on his great intended poem, of 
which he had spoken, in anticipation, in lofty terms, in his Apology for 
Smectymmtus. Remembering the pains Milton has taken to set forth his 
views on education, we are naturally curious to see him at work in that ' 
direction. Unfortunately, the result is far from realising our high expectations. 
Under the tutoring of the author of Conms, and of L Allegro and // Penseroso, 
youth, we should suppose, would be trained in the reading of the most finished 
and fascinating authors the classical library could furnish. But this is far from 
being the case. Books which we should have expected to see in the foremost 
place in the course, such as Virgil, Horace, and Ovid, are passed over in favour 
of Lucretius, Manlius, and of some of the dullest and least intelligible prose 
authors in the language. No mention is made of Tacitus, Livy, or Cicero. In 
the Greek course, we do not find a single tragedian, orator, or even an historian, 
with the exception of some fragments from Xenophon. Milton's idea seems 
to have been, that if a knowledge of the language was acquired, a perception of 
its beauties would come of itself. We should add that the pupils in this 
unique establishment were requiied to learn Hebrew, and to read it in connec- 
tion with the Chaldee and Syriac. Modern languages, too, were not forgotten ; 
and on Sundays Milton accompanied the reading of the New Testament in 
Greek with exposition, and with something in the way of lectures, or a scheme 
of divinity. 

Johnson inquires satirically for the great men produced by this "wonder- 
working academy." An educator of youth should have known that the function 
of a preceptor is to train capacity, and that where the capacity for great things 
does not chance to exist, it is in vain to expect them. There was, we doubt 
not, much more in Milton's teaching than could be made to appear in any 
printed outline. An authority likely to be well informed says, that he made 
his nephews capable of interpreting a Latin author at sight in a twelvemonth, 
and that as he was severe on one hand, so he was most familiar and free in 
his conversation to those whom he must serve in the way of education."' His 
nephew Philips remarks, that had his pupils received his instructions " with the 
same acuteness and wit of comprehension, the same industry, alacrity, and thirst 
after knowledge as the instructor was indued with, what prodigies of wit and 
learning might they have proved 1 " We learn, also, from this last authority, that 
Milton had personal friends at this time who were reckoned among " the beaux of 
those days," and that with them he now and then had his seasons of relaxation 
and holiday — days as welcome to his pupils, we may be sure, as to himself. 




In some of those "gaudy" days, as they are called, and in some days of 
a more sober complexion, Milton, we can imagine, was enough like ourselves 
to have felt occasionally that it is not good for man to be alone. But a 
protracted and romantic courtship, at this juncture, would not have comported 
well with his deep interest in public affairs, or with his feeling as to the 
service which it became him to render to his country. 

At that time a family of the name of Powell was residing at Forest Hill, 
about four miles from Oxford. Richard Powell was at the head of a large 
family, was a magistrate, and kept up the establishment of a country gentleman 
Before the father of the poet left Bread Street, there had been intercourse, 
and money transactions of some importance, between him and Powell, and 
in these pecuniary matters Milton was himself formally and legally interested.' 
On the removal of the Miltons to Horton, we can suppose that the two 
families, from the lessened distance between them, would meet more frequently. 
However this may have been, we are told by the poet's nephew, who was then 
under his roof, that about Whitsuntide in 1643, " He took a journey into the 
country, nobody about him certainly knowing the reason, or that it was more 
than a journey of recreation. After a month's stay, home he returns a married 
man who set out a bachelor, his wife being Mary, the eldest daughter of 
Richard Powell, then a justice of the peace of Forest Hill, near Shotover, in 
Oxfordshire." Milton had a money claim on his father-in-law at the time of 
his marriage, but he was to receive, and we presume along with the payment 
of his debt, 1,000 with his bride. No portion, however, of debt or dowry, 
for reasons which will be mentioned, ever came to him. 

Milton removed about this time to his new home in Barbican, and to 
that house he brought his wife, with whom came some of her relations, 
and feasting took place there for some days, in celebration of the nuptials, 
and for the entertainment of the bride's friends. Mary Powell, we imagine, must 
have been a pleasant person to look upon. B t what other agreeable qualities 
she possessed, remained, it would seem, in great part to be discovered. Only 
a few weeks after her coming to London, a letter came, inviting Mrs, Milton 
to return for a short time into the country. The lady was disposed to comply 
with this request, and had probably caused it to be sent. Her husband complied 
with her wishes, but urged that her return should not be later than Michaelmas. 
Mi:haelmas came, but the truant wife did not make her appearance. Milton 
wrote once and again, but his letters were not even answered, and a special 
messenger sent, is said to have been dismissed with some sort of contempt. 
Milton was eminently a chaste man. He must have flattered himself with 
the hope of happiness in married life. But that hope had now vanished. 

Masson's Life of Milton. 



Who was to blame for this state of things? Men given to public life 
may make affectionate husbands, but there will of necessity be limits to their 
uxoriousness. Women who marry such men should not only be women who 
wish their husbands to be somebody, but women willing to bear the cost ; and 
the women of that type are few. Looking to the high regions of thought in 
which the mind of Milton was so often found, to his warm temperament, and 
the haughty resoluteness of will which characterised him, it must be confessed 
that the chances of a happy marriage in his case, did not seem to be great. 
It is pleaded in favour of Mary Powell, that her family were Royalists, that 
their house, generally cheerful, had probably been made more gay than usual 
of late by the presence of cavaliers, who had their quarters at that time with 
the king at Oxford, and that the transition from domestic life in the residence 
of her father, to what she found with Milton in Barbican, was more than she 
could bear. In reply, it is sufficient to say, that the principles of Milton, and 
the earnestness with which he avowed them, were known to the nation, so tha<" 
they could not have been a secret at Forest Hill, and it was to have been 
expected that the dwelling which he owned would be no scene of frivolity, but 
the home of graceful and thoughtful occupation. About the time of the marriage 
the prospects of the Parliamentary cause were somewhat gloomy. To many, 
and especially to the king's party about Oxford, it seemed highly probable that 
the scale would turn in favour of the Royalists, and it is supposed by Milton's 
nephew, Phillips, that this consideration weighed with the family, leading them 
to attempt to shake off a connection which, in the probable course of affairs, 
might be to their disadvantage. If such was really their motive, we need not 
say anything to expose its selfishness, injustice, and cruelty. 

But it is not, we think, to be denied, that both John Milton and Mary 
Powell had made a mistake. Mary Powell's unfitness for her new relation, 
seems to have consisted, not so much in her love of gaiety, for her tempera- 
ment was more phlegmatic than vivacious, but rather in her want of capacity 
to make herself agreeable to an intelligent husband. It may be said that Milton 
himself ought to have seen this defect beforehand, and should have abstained 
from such a connection ; and it is a fact that he was not without misgiving on 
this point. The family however persuaded him that such appearances were natural 
in such a female at such a time, and would soon wear away. But whatever 
Milton may have found in his wife that he could have wished to be otherwise, 
to his honour, he was prepared to abide by the consequences of the step he had 
taken. Milton did not discard Mary Powell; Mary Powell deserted Milton, 
and insult was added to desertion, both by herself and her friends. 

It is to be remembered that Milton lived to have three wives. With 
his second wife his connection was one of unmingled happiness. His 



beautiful sonnet to her memory warrants us in saying thus much. With his 
third wife he lived through the last ten years of his life very affectionately ; and 
of the magnanimous conduct of which he was capable both towards Mary Powell 
and her ungenerous relatives, we shall have evidence presently. Milton, as he 
approached middle life, was no doubt a man of some quickness and strength 
of temper, and in his later years had painful thoughts on the infirmity and 
depravity possible to women. But while firm in his opinion as to the pre- 
cedence which the stronger sex should take of the weaker, his conception of the 
charm, that may be found in woman's nature, and of the homage that manhood 
might with fitness render to it, we see in his descriptions of Eve, and of the 
lady in Conius, and in other portions of his writings. lie was evidently of 
Sheridan's opinion, that women are both worse and better too than men. 

But left thus alone — worse than alone — Milton began to meditate on the 
means of extricating himself from this difficulty. The question came to be. 
Is the marriage bond indissoluble, except in the cases limited by existing law ? 
And the conclusion to which he came, after a wide course of reading and much 
thought, was, that divorce might take place on other grounds than those 
usually acknowledged. In 1644, the year following his marriage, he addressed a 
treatise to the Parliament, intitled The Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce. He 
then found that the opinion he had broached on this subject had been avowed 
by Martin Bucer, in an address to Edward VI., and he reprinted the judgment 
of the reformer, with a preface and postscript. By this time the Presbyterians 
had become ascendant, and great was the storm which they raised against this 
new -doctrine. They procured that John Milton, as a demoraliser of the com- 
munity, should be summoned to the bar of the House of Lords ; but their 
lordships shared little in this furor ; the accused was honourably dismissed. 
In 1645 Milton published another treatise on this question, intitled Tetra- 
chorden, being an exposition of the four principal passages of Scripture relating 
to it. One more publication appeared on this subject, intitled Colasterion. 
Some anonymous writer had attempted an answer to the Doctrine and Discipline 
of Divorce, and this last production of Milton on this controversy consisted of a 
reply to that answer. The opinions he now avowed were never abandoned, and 
those who accepted them were sometimes called Miltonists. The substance of 
his doctrine was " that other reasons of divorce besides adultery were by the law 
of Moses, and are yet to be allowed by the Christian magistrate, as a piece of 
justice, and that the words of Christ are not hereby contraried ; next, that to 
prohibit absolutely any divorce whatever, except those which Moses excepted, is 
against the reason of law. The grand position is this — that indisposition, 
unfitness, or contrariety of mind, arising from a cause in nature unchangeal)le, 
hindering, and ever likely to hinder, the main benefits of conjugal society, which 



are solace and peace, is a greater reason of divorce than adultery, provided there 
be a mutual consent for separation." ' 

But these were not the only publications from the pen of Milton during the 
two years through which he is present to us as a deserted husband. In 1644, 
at the request of his friend Hartlib, he sent forth his Tractate on Education, 
which has been generally regarded as exhibiting a Utopian scheme on that subject, 
aiming at a fulness of acquisition and culture in youth that can be realised only 
through years and experience. It rarely happens that men of genius make 
good preceptors. They make their own acquisitions easily, almost by intuition, 
and they are always in danger of measuring the aptitude of others by their own. 
The slow and bit-by-bit process in which education really consists, is best in 
the hands of men of more patience, and, we may perhaps add, of duller faculties. 
Genius is impulsive, routine is equable — the same to-morrow as to-day, and 
knows how to wait. 

But the year in which the Tractate on Education was published was marked 
by the appearance of a work of a much higher order — The Areopagitica, or Speech 
for t lie Liberty of Unlicensed Printing. This discourse Milton addressed to the 
Parliament, and among his prose writings there is not another more eloquent, nor 
another so pregnant with truths of permanent significance and worth. Men are 
virtuous, says Milton, when they reject evil from choice, not when barred from it 
by necessity. " I cannot praise a fugitive and a cloistered virtue," he writes, 
" unexercised and unbreathed, that never sallies out and seeks her adversary, but 
slinks out of the race where that immortal garland is to be run for, not without 
dust and heat.'' 

The Parliament had issued an order to regulate printing, which said, 
" That no book, pamphlet, or paper shall be henceforth printed unless the same 
be first approved and licensed by such, or at least one of such, as shall be thereto 
appointed." Milton urges the Parliament to re-consider this order; to remember 
that this subjection of authorship to the ignorance or caprice of a censor owes its 
origin to recent times ; and to guard against the delusion of supposing that any 
such law will suffice to prevent the printing of bad books. On the contrary, he 
maintains, that its effect must be "primely to the discouragement of all learning, 
and the stop of truth, not only by disexercising and blunting our abilities in what 
we know already, but by hindering and cropping the discovery that might be yet 
further made both in civil and religious wisdom." The principle, he argues, that 
would put an end to the freedom of the press on the plea that error must not be pro- 
mulgated, should put an end to controversy altogether, inasmuch as no man can 
refute an error without publishing the error supposed to be refuted. We do not 

' Fletcher. Inti flduction to Milton's Prose Works. 



punish bad men because they are supposed to be capable of doing^ bad things. We 
wait until the bad things are done. Let it be so with books. In reasoning thus, 
Milton must have been aware that full license to print would be an uncertain 
sign of liberty, if the laws concerning treason, sedition, libel, and alleged 
blasphemy were not brought more into accordance with that article of freedom. 
License to print as we please would be a small privilege, if the Government 
should retain the power to punish for so doing pretty much as it may please. 
Milton, in assuming that his liberty of unlicensed printing would be a real liberty, 
must have looked to further reformation in these collateral forms. But the 
nineteenth century was to come before this vision was to be realised in our 

Milton, however, had many friends, who, knowing his opinions on this vital 
question, entreated him to print, and many more responded to his utterances 
when he had so done. The influence of the leaven thus diffused on the course of 
legislation, if not wholly successful, was not inconsiderable. The action of the 
licenser under the Long Parliament was checked and limited by opinion as thus 
enlightened. One functionary resigned the odious office ; and under Cromwell it 
was abolished. With many words like the following did Milton deliver his 
expostulation and warning: — " I shall for neither friend nor foe conceal what the 
general murmur is; that if it come to inquisitioning again, and licensing, and that 
we are so timorous of ourselves, and suspicious of all men, as to fear each book, and 
the shaking of every leaf, before we know what the contents are ; if some who but 
of late were little better than sdenced from preaching, shall come now to silence us 
from reading, except what they please, it cannot be guessed what is intended b) 
some but a second tyranny over learning, and will soon put it out of controversy, 
that bishops and presbyters are the same to us both name and thing." But the 
bard kindles, as if in prophetic vision with his theme. London was to him a 
great spiritual arsenal, in which weapons of all kinds were in course of 
preparation, that great achievements might follow. " Methinks I see in my mind 
a noble and puissant nation, rousing herself like a strong man after sleep, and 
shaking her invincible locks : methinks I see her as an eagle muing her mighty 
youth, and kindling her undazzled eyes at the full midday beam ; purging and 
unsealing her long-abused sight at the fountain itself of heavenly radiance ; while 
the whole noise of timorous and flocking birds, with those also that love the 
twilight, flutter about, amazed at what she means, and in their envious gabble 
would prognosticate a year of sects and schisms." Our readers must turn to this 
speech, must read and ponder it, to have a just impression as to the lofty and 
prophetic spirit which pervades it. 

In 1645 Milton published a collection of his poems, including a number of 
sonnets written during that year. The new sonnets were those on the noise 




which had been raised by the author's publications on the divorce question ; 
also those on Lawrence, Cyriack Skinner, and Henry Lawes, and those on 
Lady Margaret Ley, and A Virtnous Young Lady. In the preface to this 
volume, Moseley, the publisher, says : " The poems of Spenser, in these English 
ones, are as nearly- imitated as sweetly excelled." 

The young lady in whose praise one of the new sonnets is written is 
supposed to have been a Miss Davis, to whom Milton, in his deserted state, 
began to look in hope of finding in her a second wife. The lady, who is 
described as young and handsome, and of a respectable family, hesitated, we 
are told, about committing herself to a relationship, which, however agreeable 
it might have been in other respects, could not fail to subject her to much 
social injury and obloquy. Meanwhile, a sudden change was to take place in 
the circumstances of Milton, of a nature to put an end to the suit. The summer 
of 1645 gave the Parliamentarians the crowning victory of Naseby. The Royal 
cause was prostrated from that day. The Powells now saw that an alliance with 
Milton would be not only safe, but might be advantageously acknowledged. 
The woman's heart in Mary Powell, too, we have reason to think, had its relent- 
ings ; and the rumour that her husband was seeking another partner for his 
home, may not have tended to render her less dissatisfied with the present state 
of matters. 

It was while aff"airs were in this posture, that Milton paid a visit to a friend 
named Blackborough, in St. Martin's-le-Grand. Blackborough was not alone 
among the friends of Milton in wishing to see the breach between himself and 
his wife healed, and this visit was chosen as an occasion on which to ascertain 
if this might not be accomplished. Mrs. Milton was stationed in an inner room. 
She presently made her appearance, threw herself at the feet of her husband, and 
entreated, with tears, and by the affectionate memories of the past, that she might 
be forgiven. It is said that Milton at first hesitated ; but he was at length 
subdued, and when he declared the past forgiven, we may be sure that it was so. 
No one can doubt that the poet's description of Adam's reconciliation to Eve was 
written with a vivid remembrance of the feeling awakened by this scene. 

In the following year Mr. R. Powell, of Forest Hill, was " in the city and 
garrison of Oxford at the surrender thereof." In the State Paper Office is a 
document signed by General Fairfax, of the 27th of June, 1646, giving Powell 
full liberty to pass the guards, with his servants, horses, arms, goods, and all 
other necessaries, and to repair unto London or elsewhere upon his necessary 
occasions. Powell and his large family made their way to the capital, where the 
son-in-law whom they had so deeply wronged and insulted received them under 
his roof, and gave them a home during many montns. A few weeks after these 
arrivals Milton's first child was born. 



The last Latin poem by Milton was written early in 1647. This was the Ode 
on yohn Rouse, the keeper of the Bodleian Library. Early in 1646 his wife's 
father had died under his roof. Twelve months later, his own father, who had 
been for some years a quiet inmate with him, breathed his last. His house 
being gradually freed from the members of his wife's family, and the death of 
his father having probably rendered him more independent of tuition, Milton 
removed sometime in 1647 from his large house in Barbican to a smaller in 
Holborn. The house in Holborn, it is said, opened backwards into Lincoln's 
Inn Fields — a space which better answered to its name at that time than at 
present. In the house at Holborn, Milton's second daughter, Mary, was born 

During 1648 Milton translated nine in his series of translated Psalms. 
That year was not favourable to tranquil studies in the case of any man 
feeling as an Englishman should have felt in relation to public affairs. The 
king's party had been everywhere dispersed. Charles had become a prisoner, 
first with the Scots, then with the English Presbyterians, and then with the. 
Independents. The Independents, and especially Cromwell, were concerned not 
only to spare the life of the king, but, if possible, to come to some settlement 
with him. But his majesty's procrastinations, intrigues, and duplicities, not 
only frustrated all hope of that nature, but exasperated the men who would 
have served him, and convinced the army that his life would never be any- 
thing but a tissue of conspiracies against the lives of the persons who had 
dared to resist his v,^ill. What were the thoughts of Milton concerning events 
as they tended towards this result? Where was he when Charles appeared 
before the high court of justice? Where, when that discrowned head fell upon 
the scaffold? We know not. But we know that in his mind, in common with 
his countrymen generally, the war waged had not been waged against monarchy. 
The object of the strife had been to settle the monarchy on a constitutional 
basis that should be compatible with liberty. That issue failing, the alternative 
was a republic; and when that came, men were heard to say, "We have not 
sought this, but it has come ; and seeing in it, as we do, the will of a Power 
above our own, we give our adhesion to it, and, if needs be, reason enough 
can be shown to justify us in so doing." Milton was one of these men. 

On the death of the king, the Presbyterians raised a loud lament, and dis- 
charged the most bitter invectives against the Independents, as the alleged 
perpetrators of that deed. Milton, who could have excused anything of that sort 
from the old Royalists, or from the ignorant among the people, could not brook it 
as coming from that quarter. Hence, a few weeks after the king's death, he sent 
forth his pamphlet, intitled TJie Tenure of Kings and Magistrates, the design 
of which, in so far as it touched on the proceedings against Charles, was said 
to be " rather to reconcile the minds of men to the event, than to discuss the 



legitimacy of that particular sentence." The argument itself, however, goes 
further than these words would indicate. The proposition it is designed to 
prove is given in the following words: "That it is lawful, and hath been held 
so through all ages, for any who have the power, to call to account a tyrant, 
or wicked king, and, after due conviction, to depose, and put him to death, if 
the ordinary magistrate have neglected or denied to do it." It is further 
shown that the Presbyterians, who now so much blame the deposing of the 
king, were themselves the men who long since deposed the monarch in the senate, 
and levelled their instruments of death against him in the field. The startling 
facts, and the high-handed logic of this publication, wounded the Presbyterians 
deeply. They had denounced Milton before, they denounced him more than 
ever now. But the object of the writer was not so much to conciliate that 
party, as to compel them to silence, by exposing' their inconsistency and 

The next voice from Milton was in his Observations on the Articles of 
Peace with the Irish Rebels. Those articles, drawn up by Ormond, the Lord- 
Lieutenant, in the name of the king, demonstrated that Charles, contrary to his 
most solemn pledges, was prepared to secure his objects by the aid of the Irish 
Catholics, and by any amount of deception that might serve his purpose. The 
signatures attached to this compact were written only thirteen days before the 
unhappy king was led to execution. "Such," says Milton, "were the fruits of 
my private studies, which I gratuitously presented to the Church and to the 
State, and for which I was recompensed by nothing but impunity, though the 
actG themselves procured me peace of conscience and the approbation of the 
good, while I exercised that freedom of discussion which I loved. Others, 
without labour or desert, got possession of honours and emoluments ; but no 
one ever knew me either soliciting anything myself or through the medium 
of my friends — ever beheld me in a suppliant posture at the doors of the 
senate, or the levees of the great. I usually kept myself secluded at home, 
where my own property, part of which had been withheld during the civil 
commotions, and part of which had been absorbed in the oppressive con- 
tributions which I had to sustain, afforded me a scanty subsistence. When I 
was released from these engagements, and thought that I was about to enjoy 
an interval of uninterrupted ease, I turned my thoughts to a history of my 
country, from the earliest times to the present." 

This English history was a favourite subject with Milton, but he was not 
to bring his narrative lower than to the Conquest. As a history, it is of no 
great value to us ; but as giving us the thoughts of Milton, and as calling 
forth his powers of description in relation to such a series of events, the 
fragment must always be interesting. Its occasional comparisons between past 



and present, though deemed irrelevant then, are not among its least instructive 
portions to us. 

But the time had now come in which the man who had never sought 
place for himself was to be raised to an honourable position by the unbought 
patronage of the State. Milton was invited by the Government to become 
Secretary for Foreign Tongues. His recent pamphlet had done the State some 
service, and his competency to the vacant office was above that of any other 
man to whom it could have been assisjned. The President of the Council was 
the great lawyer, Bradshaw, and we have seen that the mother of the poet was 
said to have been a Bradshaw. Milton accepted the appointment on the 13th 
of March, 1649, and on the 15th was formally admitted to his new function — 
a function which was not to be a sinecure in his hands. 

In the judgment of many, the execution of the king was a great crime, 
and, judged by its effects, it was certainly a great error. Of course, it would 
hold forth a warning to crowned heads that might not be unwholesome, and 
any other course that might have been taken would have been beset with extra- 
ordinary difficulties. But the feeling of the nation was deeply offended by what 
had been done, and over a large surface the wound was such as not to admit 
of being healed. In this state of feeling a heavy blow was inflicted on the new 
Commonwealth by the publication of the Eikon Basilike. That book of devotions 
was fabricated to set forth the late king as a person of singular devoutness and 
;anctity, in all the habits of his private life. Even in that age of slow inter- 
:ommunication, the book flew through the country, edition after edition, with 
surprising rapidity. In answer to the Eikon Basilike (the Royal Image), Milton 
sent forth one of the most elaborate of his writings, under the title of 
Iconoclastes (the Image-breaker). The aim of this publication was, of course, 
to state the case of the Parliament as against the king, and to demonstrate 
the falsity of the pretensions set up in his favour. It was a second Grand 
Remonstrance, and could not fail to serve the Commonwealth. 

But the conduct of the Parliament and of the Army towards the king gave 
hardly less offence abroad than at home. Towards the close of this year, 
Claude Saumaise, better known as Salmasius, published his Defensio Regia 
pro Carlo Primo ad Carolam Secundum. The author of this work was a 
scholar of the first rank, and of great celebrity. In the course of his argument 
the divine right of kings .is openly and emphatically asserted, and all sorts of 
learning are laid under contribution to show that sovereigns owe no responsibility 
to subjects, but to God only. Such reasoning would have done little harm in 
England, but it was seasoned with much foul abuse of our country, and was 
adapted to mislead foreigners. Such, indeed, was the impression made by this 
performance, that in January, 1650, we find it ordered in Council, that " Mr. Milton 



do prepare something in answer to the book of Sahnasius." The treatise, when 
produced, was ordered to be printed, and thanks were voted to the author. As 
the work of Salmasius was in Latin, the reply was in the same language. It 
bore the title Defensio pro Populo Anglicano. 

Salmasius was grossly misinformed concerning the real state of things in 
England, and from carelessness, and contempt of the persons whom he assailed, 
he fell into many blunders not creditable to his general scholarship. Manifestly, 
nothing was further from his thoughts than that an antagonist like Milton would 
be sent forth to meet him — an opponent keen to detect every slip, and strong 
to expose it when detected. His extreme servility, and the arrogance and 
insolence of his manner generally, were such that Milton knew not how to speak 
of him in subdued terms. This, it must be remembered, was the secret of the 
invective, the sarcasm, the ridicule, and of the degrading epithets which the 
Englishman discharged so fiercely and so pitilessly against his adversary. His 
agility and force in this conflict, remind you of nothing so much as of the skill 
and daring of some chieftain among the ancient athletae when in the heat of the 
strife. By every blow, he seems to tell you, that the foe before him deserves 
no mercy, and shall have none. But his passion is not so ascendant as to impair 
his logic, or to prevent his availing himself of his stores of learning. His defence 
of the rights of humanity against eveiy form of oppression is almost uniformly 
just, and rises at times to a grandeur which subdues you by its elevation and 
avvfulness. It was only natural that a fight between such Titans should attract 
the attention of the learned, and of educated men generally, over Europe. It 
was a rare thing to see two such combatants face to face. Some said that Milton 
had killed his opponent, who never seemed to be the same man again, and died 
the next year. Others denied that assertion. But it was impossible that such 
a handling should have failed to produce a bitter vexation.' From this time 
the feeling on the Continent hostile to the English Parliament was much changed. 
The fame of Milton became second only to that of Cromwell, and the light of 
the one and the power of the other were accepted widely as representing the 
influences which had raised England to her new position. 

When Milton received the order of the Council to write this work, his 
sight, which had shown symptoms of weakness through some ten years past, 
had declined in an alarming degree during the last two years. His medical 
advisers assured him, that to attempt to obey the instruction of the Govern- 
ment, would be to lose his last remnant of vision — to become blind ! His 
answer, deliberately given, was, " Then let blindness come." And the blindness 

' Salmasius left a reply in MS., which was printed amidst the excitement of the Restoration, eight years after his 
decease. Its extraordinary virulence betrayed the ranklin? of the wound that had been inflicted. The work attracted little 



came, as had been predicted. But to his last hour of life it was his solace to 
remember, that this falling of a dark curtain between himself and the visible 
universe, had come from such a cause. 

" Cyriack, this three years' day these eyes, though clear, 
Bereft of light, their seeing have forgot. 
What supports me, dost thou ask ? 
The conscience, friend, to have lost them ovei plied 
In liberty's defence, my noble task." 

Eight years were to pass, and nothing more was to be heard of Salmasius 
in this controversy. But it was not to be supposed that the Defence of the 
People of England, with the praises of which Europe "rang from side to side," 
would pass without some attempted answers. Several were issued, and left to 
their fate. One published anonymously Milton attributed to Bishop Bramhall. 
Its author, however, was an unknown episcopal clergyman named Rowland, 
To this piece John Phillips, one of Milton's nephews, wrote a reply, which the 
poet himself revised before publication. 

We have seen that in 1649 Milton removed from Barbican to Holborn. 
On accepting his appointment as secretary, he removed to apartments assigned 
him in Whitehall, but, from some unknown cause, he was required to vacate 
his new quarters, and some time after the midsummer of 1 651, he took a pretty 
garden-house in Petty France, in Westminster, next door to Lord Scudamore's, 
opening into St. James's Park. In this house Milton continued until the 
Restoration — eight years.' 

As the blindness of Milton came upon him by slow degrees, it has not 
been found easy to fix on the exact time at which his sight may be said to 
have totally failed. One of his opponents describes him as blind in 1652. 
This alone would not be sufficient evidence ; but Milton, in his reply to this 
writer, so expresses himself as to warrant us in fixing the event in that year. 

In a letter to a friend, dated September, 1654, he states, that during ten 
years he had felt his sight grow " weak and dim;" and he describes the process 
of the privation until light had " faded into a uniform blackness, such as 
ensues on the extinguishing of a candle." " When I sate down," he says, 
" to read as usual in the morning, my eyes gave me considerable pain, and 
refused their office till fortified by moderate exercise of body. If I looked 
at a candle it appeared surrounded with an iris. In a little a darkness 
covering the left side of the left eye, which was partially clouded some years 
before the other, intercepted the view of all things in that direction. Objects 
also in front seemed to dwindle in size whenever I closed my right eye. This 
eye, too, for three years gradually failing, a few months previous to my total 

' Phillips's Life of Milton. 



blindness, while I was perfectly stationary, and now thick vapours appear to 
settle on my forehead and temples, which weigh down my lids with an 
oppressive sense of drowsiness, especially in the interval between dinner and 
the evening-. I ought not to omit mentioning that before I wholly lost my 
sight, as soon as I lay down in bed, and turned upon either side, brilliant 
flashes of light used to issue from my closed eyes ; and afterwards, upon the 
gradual failure of my powers of vision, colours, proportionately dim and faint, 
seemed to rush out with a degree of vehemence and a kind of inward noise."' 
But after 1652 these vestiges of the departing light recurred no more. 

The only work in reply to his Defence of the People of England which 
Milton condescended to answer was a publication, intitled Regit Snngninis 
Clamor ad Caelum adversits Parricidis Anglicanos (The Cry of Royal Blood 
to Heaven against the English Parricides). The author of this work was a 
Peter Du Moulin, resident in England, but of Erench origin. We learn from 
himself that the manuscript was sent to Salmasius, who entrusted the printing 
of it to a person named Moore — Latinised " Morus" — a Scotchman, who was 
then Principal of the Protestant College of Castres, in Languedoc. The volume 
bore no name except that of the printer; but under that name Morus himself 
wrote a dedication of the work to Charles II. Milton somehow came to know 
that Morus had been concerned in sending forth this work, and fastened upon 
him as its author. His Second Defence, thus provoked, was published in 1654; 
and as the work to be dealt with was full of the grossest assaults on his private 
character, Milton was led by this circumstance to vindicate himself against all 
such aspersions, and at the same time to give the world his judgment as to 
the character of the men who had become most conspicuous in originating and 
sustaining the English Commonwealth. The biographical value of this Second 
Defence is great. We owe thus much to the short-sighted malignity of Milton's 
assailants. Morus attempted a reply, which Milton answered, and to a second 
rejoinder he added a supplement. But the controversy was exhausted. 

In 1653 Milton became a widower. His wife is said to have died in her 
last confinement. During the next three years, while engaged in discussing 
questions of the greatest public interest, and in the sight of Europe, his home, 
there is reason to fear, was not in a satisfactory state. His wife had left him 
blind, with three children, all girls, the youngest only two years old, and the 
eldest not more than eight. We learn from himself, that much as he had 
served the Commonwealth, he was never made in any degree the richer by such 
labour. His income, accordingly, must have consisted in his salary as Secretary, 
at best somew^hat less than ;^300 a year, and in his private means. In 1655, 

' Symmons's Life of Milton. 



his blindness having rendered it necessary that he should be assisted in his 
oflice, his salary was reduced to ^150 a year, which was assigned to him as to 
be his for his life. Soon afterwards, his faithful friend Andrew Marvel, was 
appointed his coadjutor in his official duty — an appointment which appears to 
have been made at his own suggestion.' 

It was when his personal circumstances had assumed this posture that Milton 
married his second wife. This lady was a Miss Woodcock, daughter of Captain 
Woodcock, of Hackney. How the domestic affairs of Milton had been managed 
during the last three years is not known ; but that the three young children 
were neglected, as they would not have been by a mother of only ordinary 
intelligence, is highly probable. With Catherine Woodcock Milton realised a 
happiness in married life hitherto unknown to him, and the children, we can 
imagine, began to show signs of improvement under her influence. But this 
gleam of sunshine sent through the home of the poet was to be of short 
duration. Fifteen months after her marriage his wife died in her confinement, 
and the infant did not live. The following beautiful sonnet expresses the 
feeling with which Milton never ceased to regard this sainted woman: — 

" Methought I saw my late-espoused saint 

Brought to me, like Alccslis, from the grave, 

Whom Jove's great son to her glad husband gave, 
Rescued from Death by force, though pale and faint. 
Mine, as whom washed from spot of child-bed taint, 

Purification in the old law did save, 

And such, as yet once more I trust to have 
Full sight of her in heaven without restraint, 
Came vested all in white, pure as her mind : 

Her face was veiled ; yet to my fancied sight 
Love, sweetness, goodness in her person shined 

So clear, as in no face with more delight. 
But, oh! as to embrace me she inclined, 

I <vaked ; she fled ; and day brought back my night." 

Kight eventful years were to pass before Milton was to marry again 
The division of labour, as touching his office as secretary, must have given 
him more command of time. He still occupied himself with his History oj 
England, and he now began to make collections towards an improved Latin 
dictionary, and occupied himself in digesting materials for a body of divinity. 
But soon after he became a widower a second time, his thoughts began to 
settle on the Fall of Man as the subject for his long-contemplated epic poem. 
According to his friend Aubrey, he had commenced that great work in 1658. 
Even now, however, his time was not to be given to it more than partially 
In 1658 he publishes, from manuscript. Sir Walter Raleigh's work, intitled 
The Cabinet Council. In 1659 he issues his valuable treatise on Civil Power 
in Ecclesiastical Cases, and a vigorous pamphlet on the Means of Removing 

> Mitford — Masson. 



Hirelings out of the Church. In this year also he wrote a letter to a friend 
concerning the ruptures of the Commonwealth, and another to General Monk 
in favour of a free Commonwealth, and describing the present means of 
securing it. But these were brief ordinary letters, extending to a page or 
two, and were not printed. The pamphlet published some months later, 
intitled The Ready and Easy way to Establish a Free Commonwealth, was 
something much more elaborate, and was addressed to the nation. In this 
performance Milton urges, with much earnestness, the excellency of a Com- 
monwealth, " compared with the inconveniences and dangers of re-admitting 
kingship in this nation." Another fragment was published by him at this 
juncture in reply to a sermon of a high Royalist tone preached by a Dr. 
Matthew Griffith, described as " Chaplain to the late King." In these two 
pieces Milton delivers his last protest against • the return of Stuart rule. 
Almost to the moment when the guns of Dover Castle were to proclaim the 
landing of His Majesty Charles II., Milton's voice is raised in this cause. 
But the nation heard not, and Court and country hastened to fulfil the worst 
predictions uttered by Cromwell long since, and now reiterated by Milton. 
The most sober portion of the people had become weary of a war of factions, 
of disorder sinking deeper and deeper into confusion, and were willing to 
hope that the reports circulated everywhere, as to the wise and patriotic 
intentions of the exiled King, would prove to be well founded. That hope 
was to prove vain. But the unwelcome experience came too late. What had 
been done could not be undone. 

During the eight years preceding the Restoration Milton had lived in his 
detached house in Petty France, near the centre of all the actions of those 
years in relation to the great questions both of Church and State. Under 
that roof he had been wont to receive his friends, so that there we can 
imagine Syriac Skinner discoursing freely on the recent debates in Parliament, 
or in his club, and on the tendencies of public affairs. There Andrew 
Marvel's honest voice was often heard on such topics, and in sharp and witty 
criticism on poetry, and on literature generally. There Robert Boyle often 
spoke, as we may believe, to his blind friend on the most recent experiments 
in philosophy, and passed from the mysteries of nature to express his devout 
thoughts concerning its Author. Milton's writings show that many of the 
most distinguished men, both in the army and the state, were personally 
known to him, and such men were, no doubt, to be seen from time to time 
by his fireside. But with Milton, as with Bacon, the admiration of his 
genius by his countrymen was surpassed in that manifested by distinguished 
foreigners. During the years under review he was the great Englishman 
whom most strangers wished to see, next to Cromwell. And it is certain that 
many a flattering pilgrimage of that nature was made to his humble dwelling. 



But with the Restoration all is changed. Milton must have felt that his 
life had ceased to be secure. His political career was at an end, and silence 
in the future could not be regarded as enough to protect him against the 
consequences of the past. He now left Petty France, and found an asylum 
with a friend in Bartholomew Close. Proclamation was issued for his appre- 
hension, but he had friends able and willing to serve him. His brother-in-law, 
Sir Thomas Clarges ; Morrice, Secretary of State, cousin to General Monk ; 
Andrew Marvel, who had a seat in Parliament ; two distinguished Royalist 
aldermen of York; and above all. Sir William Davenant, are mentioned as 
having used influence in his favour. Even among his enemies there were 
men who could not think of his blindness without pity, nor of his genius 
without respect. It has been said that some of his friends reported him as 
dead, and got up a mock funeral to divert the Government from its threatened 
search after him. Such an expedient would have been innocent enough, though 
we cannot suppose that Milton would have been any party to it. Had 
anything of this nature been true, the wits of the court of Charles would 
not have left it to come down to us from a date long after the event. 

In June, 1660, the Commons moved that Milton's Iconoclastes and his 
Defence of the People of England should be burnt by the hangman, and in 
August that was done. But an act of indemnity was then passed, which spared 
the life of the author, though some months later, and, from some unknown 
cause, we find him in the keeping of the Sergeant-at-Arms. He was soon 
released, however, simply on the payment of his fees. With his characteristic 
independence and fearlessness, he resisted that payment on the ground of its 
exorbitancy, and the demand was reduced. 

On leaving his retreat in Bartholomew Close, Milton took a house in 
Holborn, near Red Lion Square, but removed after a short interval to Jewin 
Street. Here he published a work on the Accidence aitd Grammar of the 
Latin Language; 2\so Aphorisms of State, from another manuscript left by Sir 
Walter Raleigh. We have to add, that to his house in Jewin Street Milton 
brought his third wife ; but this does not seem to have occurred earlier than 
some time in 1664. The poet's friend, Dr. Paget, recommended to him Elizabeth, 
daughter of Mr. Robert Minshull, of Wistaston, rear Nantwich, in Cheshire, 
as a lady who might contribute to his happiness ; and a marriage was the 
result. MiUon.was now fifty-six years of age. His wife was thirty years his 
junior. At this time his eldest daughter was nearly eighteen years of age, the 
second sixteen. 

Milton had remained so long unmarried in the hope, apparently, that these 
daughters would become capable and trustworthy in the management of his 
affairs; but in these expectations he must have been disappointed. Milton is 



Hirelings out of the Clmrcli. In this year also he wrote a letter to a friend 
concerning the ruptures of the Commonwealth, and another to General Monk 
in favour of a free Commonwealth, and describing the present means of 
securing it. But these were brief ordinary letters, extending to a page or 
two, and were not printed. The pamphlet published some months later, 
intitled The Ready and Easy way to EstablisJi a Free Commonwealth, was 
something much more elaborate, and was addressed to the nation. In this 
performance Milton urges, with much earnestness, the excellency of a Com- 
monwealth, " compared with the inconveniences and dangers of re-admitting 
kingship in this nation." Another fragment was published by him at this 
juncture in reply to a sermon of a high Royalist tone preached by a Dr. 
Matthew Griffith, described as "Chaplain to the late King." In these two 
pieces Milton delivers his last protest against- the return of Stuart rule. 
Almost to the moment when the guns of Dover Castle were to proclaim the 
landing of His Majesty Charles II., Milton's voice is raised in this cause. 
But the nation heard not, and Court and country hastened to fulfil the worst 
predictions uttered by Cromwell long since, and now reiterated by Milton. 
The most sober portion of the people had become weary of a war of factions, 
of disorder sinking deeper and deeper into confusion, and were willing to 
hope that the reports circulated everywhere, as to the wise and patriotic 
intentions of the exiled King, would prove to be well founded. That hope 
was to prove vain. But the unwelcome experience came too late. What had 
been done could not be undone. 

During the eight years preceding the Restoration Milton had lived in his 
detached house in Petty France, near the centre of all the actions of those 
years in relation to the great questions both of Church and State. Under 
that roof he had been wont to receive his friends, so that there we can 
imagine Syriac Skinner discoursing freely on the recent debates in Parliament, 
or in his club, and on the tendencies of public affairs. There Andrew 
Marvel's honest voice was often heard on such topics, and in sharp and witty 
criticism on poetry, and on literature generally. There Robert Boyle often 
spoke, as we may believe, to his blind friend on the most recent experiments 
in philosophy, and passed from the mysteries of nature to express his devout 
thoughts concerning its Author. Milton's writings show that many of the 
most distinguished men, both in the army and the state, were personally 
known to him, and such men were, no doubt, to be seen from time to time 
by his fireside. But with Milton, as with Bacon, the admiration of his 
genius by his countrymen was surpassed in that manifested by distinguished 
foreigners. During the years under review he was the great Englishman 
whom most strangers wished to see, next to Cromwell. And it is certain that 
many a flattering pilgrimage of that nature was made to his humble dwelling. 



But with the Restoration all is changed. Milton must have felt that his 
life had ceased to be secure. His political career was at an end, and silence 
in the future could not be regarded as enough to protect him against the 
consequences of the past. He now left Petty France, and found an asylum 
with a friend in Bartholomew Close. Proclamation was issued for his appre- 
hension, but he had friends able and willing to serve him. His brother-in-law, 
Sir Thomas Clarges ; Morrice, Secretary of State, cousin to General Monk ; 
Andrew Marvel, who had a seat in Parliament ; two distinguished Royalist 
aldermen of York; and above all. Sir William Davenant, are mentioned as 
having used influence in his favour. Even among his enemies there were 
men who could not think of his blindness without pity, nor of his genius 
without respect. It has been said that some of his friends reported him as 
dead, and got up a mock funeral to divert the Government from its threatened 
search after him. Such an expedient would have been innocent enough, though 
we cannot suppose that Milton would have been any party to it. Had 
anything of this nature been true, the wits of the court of Charles would 
not have left it to come down to us from a date long after the event. 

In June, 1660, the Commons moved that Milton's Iconoclastes and his 
Defence of the People of England should be burnt by the hangman, and in 
August that was done. But an act of indemnity was then passed, which spared 
the life of the author, though some months later, and, from some unknown 
cause, we find him in the keeping of the Sergeant-at-Arms. He was soon 
released, however, simply on the payment of his fees. With his characteristic 
independence and fearlessness, he resisted that payment on the ground of its 
exorbitancy, and the demand was reduced. 

On leaving his retreat in Bartholomew Close, Milton took a house in 
Holborn, near Red Lion Square, but removed after a short interval to Jewin 
Street. Here he published a work on the Accidence and Grammar of the 
Latin Language; also Aphorisjns of State, from another manuscript left by Sir 
Walter Raleigh. We have to add, that to his house in Jewin Street Milton 
brought his third wife ; but this does not seem to have occurred earlier than 
sorne time in 1664. The poet's friend, Dr. Paget, recommended to him Elizabeth, 
daughter of Mr. Robert Minshull, of Wistaston, rear Nantwich, in Cheshire, 
as a lady who might contribute to his happiness; and a marriage was the 
result. MiUon.was now fifty-six years of age. His wife was thirty years his 
junior. At this time his eldest daughter was nearly eighteen years of age, the 
second sixteen. 

Milton had remained so long unmarried in the hope, apparently, that these 
daughters would become capable and trustworthy in the management of his 
affairs; but in these expectations he must have been disappointed. Milton is 



charged with having conducted himself toward his daughters with little of the 
feeling to have been expected from him. We submit the case on both sides 
to the judgment of the reader. 

Mistress Foster, a grand-daughter of Milton's, in low circumstances, is 
described as stating that Milton, besides his alleged harshness toward his 
daughters, was so indifferent generally in his feeling towards them, that he 
would not allow them to learn to write. The eldest could not read to him, 
from some impediment in her speech, but the two younger — so Deborah, the 
youngest of the two, says— were made to read in eight languages. As Greek 
and Hebrew were among these languages, to have been compelled to read much 
in those tongues, or indeed in any tongue while ignorant of its meaning, must 
have been not a little disagreeable and exhausting. The poet's nephew, Phillips, 
relates, that as the young persons complained heavily of this labour, they were 
at length, all three, sent from home, " to learn some curious and ingenious sorts 
of manufacture that are proper for women to learn, particularly embroidery in 
gold and silver." And the fact that Milton at his death left all his property 
to his widow, with the exception of what his daughters might claim through 
their mother from the Powells, has been thought to warrant the unfavourable 
constructions which have been put on these statements. 

In reply, it is to be remembered that Mrs. Foster, the poet's grand- 
daughter, is not an altogether trustworthy witness, for her assertion that Milton 
would not allow his daughters to learn to write is manifestly untrue, inasmuch 
as Aubrey says positively that Deborah, the youngest, was amanuensis to her 
father, and that he taught her Latin, and how to read Greek — tliat is, to 
understand the one language, and to read the other. Deborah further says, 
that though they were not sent to school, they were " taught at home by a 
mistress kept for that purpose." This must mean that they were brought up 
under a governess. To this expenditure was added the cost of enabling them 
to learn the art of embroidery, and the assistance rendered to them during the 
last four or five years of his life, when they had ceased to be a part of his 
household. It is towards the close of those years that he speaks of having 
" spent the greater part of his estate in providing for them." He says at the 
same time that they had been " undutiful and unkind to him ; " that they were 
" careless of him being blind, and made nothing of deserting him ; " that, in place 
of being the comfort to him he needed, " they did combine together in counseling 
his maidservant to cheat him in her marketings ; " that they had made away 
with some of his books, and would have sold the rest of his books to the dunghill 
women ; and that Mary, the second in age, being told that her father was about 
to marry, said that the better news to her would be to hear that he was dead. 

With regard to Milton's wife, she was twenty-six years of age when she 



married, and she is described by Aubrey, who knew her, as " a genteel person, 
of a peaceful and agreeable humour." From all that is said of her we may 
presume that she was a woman of personal attractions. We know that she 
held her husband in great veneration ; that poetry which came to him in the 
night, she often committed to writing at his dictation early in the day ; that 
she studied his comfort in all things, and proved, in fact, an excellent wife. 
According to Milton's own words she was a "loving wife;" and his brother 
Christopher states on oath, that he " complained, but without passion, that his 
children had been unkind to him, but that his wife had been very kind and 
careful of him." In leaving his disposable property to her, which, altogether, 
would not give her anything beyond the means of a moderate subsistence, he 
regarded himself as discharging a debt of gratitude. In the compromise 
ultimately made when the will had been disputed, the daughters were content to 
receive ;^ioo each as their share. At the same time, the j(^i,ooo still due to 
him from the Powells, acknowledged by persons competent to pay it as an 
honourable debt, he left his daughters to claim.' " Phillips relates," says 
Johnson, " that Mrs. Milton persecuted the children during the life of her 
husband, and cheated them at his death." It must suffice to say that Phillips 
has not made that statement, nor any statement at all like it ; nor is this 
the only instance in which Johnson's hostile feeling has betrayed him into 
infamous representations of this description. The will made in behalf of 
the widow, and which she very probably induced her husband to make, was 
the only cheating with which she could be charged ; and, with regard to 
persecution, Deborah might have left a home of reasonable comfort to have 
been virtually adopted, as she was, by Mrs. Merien ; while her elder sisters 
could hardly have lived from five to six years as young women with their step- 
mother, had they been subject to grave ill-treatment at her hands. On the 
whole, in relation to Milton's conduct towards his children, as towards his first 
wife, without venturing to say that he was without fault, we feel no difficulty 
in saying that he was a man much more sinned against than sinning.^ 

Milton did not continue long in Jewin Street after his marriage. His 

' "According to the custom of London, previous to the statute i James II., c. 17, Mrs. Milton would be entitled to 
two-thirds of her husband's effects— one-third as widow, and one-third as administratrix, the remaining third being the 
property of the children ; and, consequently, ^300, the amount paid to them, would represent the full share of their father's 
estate, if it amounted to no more than £goo, even without taking into account any such future payment as, according to 
a conjecture, hazarded in a note, a clause in the leases may possibly allude to. There is no very strong evidence that 
it amounted to more than this. Phillips writes that he is said to have died worth 1,500 in money, a considerable estate, 
all things considered ; so that the writer, while giving currency to what may have been his cousin's exaggerated statement 
of their father's property, seems to intimate his own opinion that it was more than he should have expected : but Milton 
himself is proved to have contemplated, as a mere possibility, the event of his property realising more than ^1,000, in 
which case he expressed his wish that his brother Christopher's children should have the overplus, though he probably 
considered the chances too remote to be worth providing for in his will." — Chcctham Publications, vol. xxiv. 13. 

' See these particulars given in some detail by Todd, Milford, and Keightley, but especially in the Papers connected 
with Milton and his Family, in vol. xxiv. of the Cheetham Pttblications. 



next, and his last, remove was to a house in Artillery Walk, then a pleasant 
avenue to Bunhill Fields. But he had not been long settled in his new house 
when he was driven from it by the Plague, which came with such terrible effect 
over the metropolis in 1665. Milton now took possession for a while of a 
cottage at Chalfont, in Buckinghamshire, which had been hired for him by his 
young friend Elwood, the Quaker. By this time he had completed, or very 
nearly completed, his Paradise Lost. 

Our earliest information concerning the intention of Milton to write an 
epic poem comes to us during his continental tour. The eulogy pronounced 
on him in Florence shows that he must have mentioned some purpose of 
this kind to his friends in that city. We have seen, that in his poem to 
Manso of Naples, a few months later, he is explicit on this point ; but the 
subject then in his thoughts was King Arthur and the Knighthood of his Age. 
In his treatise on Church Government, published in 1641, this purpose is again 
indicated, and the subject is still King Arthur. We know not how or when the 
British theme came to be displaced by the Biblical ; but in 1658 this change 
had taken place, and some years before, Phillips and other friends had seen 
fragments of the poetry, especially the Address of Satan to the Stm, which 
appeared ultimately in the Paradise Lost. Through some eight or ten years, 
accordingly, this subject may be said to have occupied the poet's thought, and 
to have moved him more or less to write upon it ; and through seven years 
preceding its publication, it had been his chosen and settled theme. Milton's 
earliest conception of the work, as is well known, presented it in the form of a 
drama. The Milton manuscripts at Cambridge place before us two dramatic 
schemes on the Fall of Man, framed somewhat in the manner of the old 
mysteries. Happily that form was abandoned, and very little time would seem 
to have been wasted upon it. 

The most potent cause leading to the choice of this higher theme will 
probably be found in the new current given to Milton's thoughts on his return 
to England in 1639. While at Cambridge, his discontent with the state of 
things in the English Church had precluded him from becoming a clergyman. 
His Lycidas shows that this feeling had grown upon him when that poem was 
written. But his residence at Horton, and his continental tour, embrace the 
interval in his career which may be said to have been the brightest, and had 
his life continued to be of that cheery hue, it is probable that the epic poem 
would have been on the old British chivalry. But as the quarrel between 
Charles and the Parliament ripened towards civil war, the grave questions of 
civil and religious liberty became to him the great questions of the hour, and 
not only revived the religious spirit observable in his earlier years, but 
deepened it, and gave it the force of habit. 



We have mentioned elsewhere how Milton placed the manuscript of 
Paradise Lost in the hand of Elwood, at Chalfont ; and the remark of the 
poet's Quaker friend, that one who had written so well on Paradise Lost 
should write on Paradise Regained, which led to the writing of the poem 
since known by that name. Milton returned to London in 1666, early probably 
in that year. The check which had been given to book publishing in 1665 
by the Plague, was followed in September, 1666, by the Great Fire of London, 
which must have been felt by authors and booksellers as even a greater 
discouragement to such enterprises. But Milton had written his Paradise 
Regained for the most part, if not entirely, away from his books, in his humble 
retreat at Chalfont ; and had written his greater poem amidst the ceaseless 
distractions occasioned by the agitation and perils which beset the Common- 
wealth through the first five years of its existence, and amidst the many 
disheartening events which attended the Restoration. It was in keeping with 
his elastic energy and hopefulness, that Milton now trod the pathways of the 
city where the pestilence had lately sent such horrors into every dwelling; 
and where, from the late fire, whole streets were still in ruins and desolation, 
his object being to find a bibliopolist who might be courageous enough to 
undertake the publication of an epic poem in ten books. 

Milton found the man he sought in the person of Samuel Simmons. 
Every one has heard of the terms of agreement between the poet and this 
publisher. The author received £^ when the contract was signed. Should 
1,300 of the first edition be sold he was to receive another ;^5. Should the 
same number of a second edition be sold he was to receive the same sum, 
and so of a third edition; and no edition was to exceed 1,500 copies. So 
the sale of more than 4,000 copies was not to secure to the author more 
than £'2.0. The first edition was advertised as neatly bound, and as to 
be sold for three shillings. Milton's agreement with Simmons was signed 
April 27th, 1667. On April 26th, 1669, he received his second the sale 
of the work in two years having reached the required amount, 1,300. The 
second edition was not printed until 1674, from which Milton did not live to 
receive anything. So the entire sum which came to his hands for the Paradise 
Lost was £,\o. The second edition was sold in four years; and on printing 
a third edition, in 1681, Simmons gave Milton's widow ^^8, as the price of 
the copyright. From the hands of Simmons that right passed to the bookseller 
Brabazon Aylmer, who purchased it for £^2^ ; and in 1683 it passed from 
Aylmer to Jacob Tonson, at a considerably higher price. In twenty years six 
editions were published, and between 7,000 and 8,000 copies must have been 
sold. In 1688 a handsome folio edition made its appearance, under the 
patronage of the great Whig lawyer, Lord Somers, giving a list of more than 



500 subscribers, including tlie names of a large number of the most eminent 
persons in rank and literature. These facts speak much more favourably for 
the public of that time than for the book trade. 

Milton's English History, which had occupied so much of his thoughts at 
intervals, was not published until 1670. It was then much mutilated by the 
Licensor, and is supposed by some to have been interpolated afterwards, under 
the pretence of restoring the suppressed passages. In 167 1 appeared the 
Paradise Regained, along with the Samson Agonistes. In 1673 the poet sent 
forth his Treatise of True Religion, Heresy, Schism, Toleration, and what yust 
Means may be used against the Growth of Popery. At that time the country 
was becoming daily more and more alarmed, and not without reason, in the 
prospect of a Popish successor to the throne, and the possible new ascendancy 
of Romanism. Milton urges all Protestants to make the keeping out of that 
common enemy their common cause. In this year also Milton reprinted his 
early poems, with some additions and corrections, and his Tractate on 
Education ; but in its punctuation, and in some other respects, this edition was 
less accurate than the former. In 1674, the last year of his life, the venerable 
bard published his familiar Letters in Latin ; and a translation of the Declaration 
of the Poles in favour of foJin III., from the Latin, which appeared in that 
year, was attributed to him. 

Milton suffered considerably from gout during his later years, and is 
said to have died of that malady. On the 8th of November, in the sixty- 
sixth year of his age, in his house in Bunhill Fields, the spirit of Milton 
passed into the world of spirits. His decease seems to have taken place 
without much immediate premonition, but he had for some while the pre- 
sentiment that it was not distant, and his anticipations of it in the midst of 
his family were calm, self-possessed, and without any sign of fear. His 
remains were placed beside those of his father in the chancel in St. Giles, 
Cripplegate. "Toland says that his funeral was attended " by all his^learned and 
great friends in London, not without a friendly concourse of the vulgar." 

In his person Milton was below rather than above the middle stature.' 
The feminine beauty which distinguished him in his youth, settled into a 
manly symmetry of features as he grew older. His portraits show that he wore 
his hair parted in front, and falling in curls on his shoulders. It was of a 
lightish brown colour, but his eyes were grey, and retained their natural appearance 
even when light had passed from them. When in the vigour of his days, his 
air was erect and dauntless. An aged .clergyman who had seen him in his 
later years, describes him as seated in a small chamber hung with rusty green. 




in an elbow chair, dressed in black ; pale, but not cadaverous, his hands and 
fingers gouty, and with chalk stones. He used also to sit, it is said, in a 
grey, warm cloth coat, at the door of his house near Bunhill Fields, in warm 
sunny weather, to enjoy the fresh air/ And so, as well as in his room, he 
received the visits of persons of distinguished parts, as well as quality. His 
gout could not have come from his rich living, inasmuch as his abstemiousness 
was one of his marked habits. He took little wine, and was very simple in 
his diet. In early life he injured his sight and his general health by night 
study; subsequently, he learnt to get a fair night's rest, going to bed at nine, 
and rising in the summer at four, in the winter at five. Should he not be 
disposed to rise at that hour, some one commonly read to him. After rising, 
he listened to the reading of a chapter from his Hebrew Bible. He then 
followed his studies until midday. After a brief out-door exercise he dined, then 
played on the organ, or sang, or requested his wife, who had a good voice, 
to sing to him. He then resumed his mental occupations until six; from six 
to eight he received visitors ; between eight and nine he took a supper of olives 
and some light food, smoked his pipe of tobacco, drank his glass of water, and 
retired to rest. One of his biographers says, he had " a gravity in his temper, 
PxOt melancholy, or not till the latter part of his life ; not sour, nor morose, 
or ill-natured, but a certain serenity of mind, a mind not condescending to 
little things." 2 Aubrey, who says that he was satirical — which, no doubt, he 
was on the fitting occasion — further says, that " he would be very cheerful 
even in his gouty fits, and sing." We learn also from his youngest daughter 
that " her father was delightful company, the life of the conversation, and that 
on account of a flow of subject, and an unaffected cheerfulness and civility." 
There was a time when the spoils of the vanquished lay thick about him, 
but he touched them not. He lived a simple and honest life, and lived it 
to the end. 

The biographers of Milton, for the most part, lament that he should have 
allowed his genius to be diverted as it was during some t\venty years, from 
poetry to politics. But the politics which attracted him were not ordinary 
politics. The crisis had come in which it was to be determined whether 
England should be free or not free — the home of a manly liberty, or the puling 
imitator of the servile monarchies of the Continent. And there are men who are 
not born to live to themselves, but to their country and to humanity. Such 
men can take up the cross, and put even the gratification of taste in abeyance, 
that duty may be done. But such men are comparatively few, and Milton 
holds a foremost place with that few. His poetry does high honour to his 

Richardson's Life of Milton. ' Richardson. 



genius ; his services as a patriot do no less honour to his moral worth. He 
tells us that to have a conscience that should not be perpetually upbraiding 
him, it was indispensable that he should subordinate even his love of poetry 
to the love of his country and of liberty. But, to use his own illustration, in 
these secular strifes it was his left hand only that was put forth ; his right — 
the higher skill and force of his nature — found its true sphere in higher 
things. His political writings, however, open as they may be to exception, 
were a powerful momentum on the side of general freedom ; and one which, in 
common with much like it, did not die out, as is too commonly supposed, at 
the Restoration. Without the revolution which dates from 1640, we should 
hardly have seen that which dates from 1688. 

But our great poet, as may sometimes be seen in men more native to 
state questions, was to evince greater skill in demolishing bad things, than in 
constructing the better things which should come into their place. According to 
the general apprehension, Milton was a stern republican ; but, in fact, he was 
for government as placed in the hands of the wisest and the best ; and whether 
the wisest and the best might be most probably found in a republic, in 
an oligarchy, in a monarchy, or in such elements combined, were subordinate 
questions — questions simply concerning the relation of means to ends. Judging 
of monarchy from what it had commonly been, and from what it had been 
recently in this country, he saw no hope for the nation in that direction. 
Hence the great point with him came to be, how to adjust the machinery of 
a popular government so as to secure from it the largest measure of advantage, 
and to guard the most effectively against the disadvantages incident to it. 
Nothing was further from his thoughts than that the best rule would be the 
rule of the multitude. He would have had each country town a city, and ever}' 
such city a sort of Florence or Venice, entrusted with large legislative and 
administrative powers. Above these he would have placed, not a house of 
commons, but a grand council, which should be permanent, and possessed of 
supreme authority ; and in giving existence to this council, he says, it would 
" be well to qualify and refine elections ; not committing all to the noise and 
shouting of a rude multitude, but permitting those of them who are rightly 
qualified to nominate as many as they will ; and out of that number, others of 
a better breeding to choose a less number more judiciously ; till, after a third 
or fourth sifting and refining of exactest choice, they only be left chosen who 
are the due number, and seem by most voices the worthiest."' 

It is in vain to say that Milton did not know human nature. But it is 
clear from these speculations that he had failed duly to estimate some of the 

The Ready and Easiest Way to Establish a Free Commonwealth, 



most rooted and characteristic tendencies of the English people. Their 
institutions, like all institutions of a natural and healthy description, had been 
a growth from their social life. Nothing in them had found a place there 
simply from its having commended itself to abstract thought, or from its 
promising well upon paper. Everything had come with an exigency, and 
things had been retained purely from their adaptation to exigencies. But to 
adjust themselves to Milton's republic, the nation needed to forget nearly all the 
traditions, forms, and feelings of the past, and to substitute an order of things 
which should be made, in the place of an order of things which had grown. 
To expect a course of this nature from an intelligent man would be to expect 
much ; to expect it from a people, and, above all, from a people so attached to 
their old paths as the English, was to expect unreasonably. As a politician 
our great bard enunciated many grand truths ; but the application of those 
truths to the actual circumstances of mankind demanded a more flexible habit 
of thought, and a more flexible temper, than Milton brought to the science of 
politics. Cromwell knew the majority of the nation to be, in some form or 
other. Royalists, and that to leave the future of government to the suffrage of 
the nation would be to vote the destruction of the republic. But Milton 
beguiled himself with the notion of what the nation might do, or ought to 
do. Cromwell, from, his stronger political insight, saw what the nation would 
do, if left to itself, and he acted accordingly. 

In regard to religious belief, Milton was in substantial agreement with his 
age and his country. The home of his youth was of the Puritan type, and 
his own piety, while it embraced some free elements of its own, as the natural 
result of his special intelligence and culture, never ceased to be mainly of the 
Puritan spirit and complexion. At his decease he left two works in manuscript 
— a History of Muscovy, published soon afterwards ; and an elaborate treatise 
on Christian Doctrine, which remained unknown to the world until published, 
with a translation from the Latin, in the first quarter of the present century. 
It is certain, that until nearly forty years of age, Milton was a Trinitarian and 
a Calvinist. On the doctrine of the Trinity his opinion was to undergo some 
change ; but we have no evidence of that change until the publication of the 
Paradise Lost, when his age was verging upon sixty. In that poem there 
were some obscure and unusual expressions concerning the persons commonly 
regarded as Co-equal and One in the Godhead. But it was left to the publication 
of the volume on Christian Doctrine to show that the ideas which seemed to 
be expressed in those passages were the ideas intended. In that work the 
Son is represented as the highest of created natures, but still as created ; and 
the Holy Spirit, while represented as a person, is supposed to be next in 
being to the Son. But it should be distinctly remembered, that this conception 


did not at all affect the opinions of Milton on other points of theology. 
When this change came all beside remained as it was. He still believed in 
the Fall of man, and in its consequences in relation to the race ; in Redemption 
by Christ, in pardon through his Atonement, in justification by his Righteous- 
ness, and in the Regenerating power of the Holy Spirit. Redemption came, 
in his view, from a trinity of persons, though not of co-equal persons ; and 
from a trinity of offices, though not of offices sustained by persons of the 
same nature and authority. 

Milton's critics often express their wonder that so marvellous a drama as 
Paradise Lost should have been found under the very faint jottings trans- 
mitted to us in the earlier chapters of Genesis. But the truth is, Milton did 
not find the materials for his poem within that compass. He believed, as all 
sound critics believe still, that the earlier portions of Revelation find their true 
exposition in the later. Paradise Lost is not founded on Genesis : it rests, 
in common with the theology of the seventeenth century, on the Scriptures as 
a whole. Until some while after Milton's day, nearly every one who believed 
in Christianity at all, believed in it very much after his manner. 

It has been brought as a serious charge against Milton, that in his later 
years he was not known to be connected with any church, nor as engaging in 
any form of public worship. But those who prefer this accusation seem to 
forget that Milton's ecclesiastical quarrel had been with the great Presbyterian 
party, hardly less than with the Church of England men ; that, in his later 
years, the only church permitted to exist was the Church of England ; that 
to have taken part in any worship not of that church would have been to 
violate the law, and to have incurred the hazard of fine and imprisonment. 
It is true, had liberty of worship been granted, Milton would hardly have 
found a church with a creed the strict counterpart of his own. But had such 
liberty been ceded, we have little doubt but occasions would have come in 
which he would have availed himself of it. Worshippers may be agreed 
sufficiently to become one in worship without being agreed in everything. 

Of Dr. Johnson's critique on Milton we have said little. The man who 
could tell his readers that he judges Milton to have been capable of forging 
a prayer to be interpolated in the Eikoji Basilike, that he might found upon 
it a malignant charge against the king, has put himself out of court as a 
witness on any question in which the reputation of the author of Paradise 
Lost is concerned. Mr. De Quincey, himself a Tory, and far enough removed 
from Puritanism, has given expression to his judgment and feeling as to the 
conduct of Johnson towards Milton in words of studied severity, and we can 
hardly say with more severity than truth. " As regards Dr. Johnson," he 
writes, " am I the man that would suffer him to escape under the trivial im- 



peachment of 'prejudice?' Dr. Johnson, viewed in relation to Milton, was a 
malicious, mendacious, and dishonest man. He was met by temptations many 
and strong to falsehood, and these temptations he had not the virtue to resist."' 
But, in fact, it was not in the nature of Johnson to understand Milton. Johnson 
found his paradise in the streets of London, and for them could readily 
dispense with the paradise which Milton had created. With Milton, religion 
and government were the great interests of humanity. With Johnson, religion 
was an influence which awed and depressed the soul, in place of filling it with 
lofty and rapturous aspirations ; and as for government, men should be veiy 
thankful for such as George III. was disposed to give them. Human nature, 
as depicted by Johnson, is a poor nature — poor for this world, poor for the next ; 
as depicted by Milton, its capabilities are divine, and the perfection seen to 
be possible to it he proclaims as the prophesy of its destiny. The poet may 
have dwelt so much in the region of the ideal as to have over-rated the actual 
about him ; but the moralist so under-rated the actual as to have been without 
power to ascend into the ideal. Johnson could analyse and estimate human 
beings as developed in city life as no other man could ; but human beings 
rising into fellowship with the angels were far above his sphere. Better, 
infinitely better, to have been disappointed with Milton, than never to have 
hoped like Johnson. But why do we speak of disappointment ? The fame of 
the poet is a grand reality; the angel-world into which his spirit has passed is 
a reality still more grand ; and the principles which still come to us from 
his voice are among the noblest known to humian thought, and will last on. 

Works, vol. X., p. 97, 


HE general impression concerning Shakespeare is, that he was a man little 

influenced by the love of fame ; and little interested in the struggle 
relating to civil and religious liberty which was becoming daily stronger in his 
time, and was soon to bring on a civil war. In these respects Milton was 
another man. His reverence for humanity in its higher forms, made him 
desire to have a place in its memory, and in its great heart in the time to 
come. In this sense he was ambitious, and made no secret of being so; 
while in regard to freedom generally, such was his estimate of its tendency to 
develop and ennoble manhood, that to secure its influence to his country, he 
may be said to have placed his master passion — his love of poetry — in abeyance 
for half a lifetime, and during that interval, not only to have brought himself 
to blindness in its cause, but to have exposed himself to the utmost hazard. 
His convictions, as a Christian and a patriot, were enlightened, serious, and 
deeply seated. Men of his order must live to great moral and religious ends. 
Shakespeare, in his vocation, was always a man of comparative purity, more so 
in his later years ; but he could make vice furnish amusement as Milton never 
could. The forbidden, whether in the shape of levity or malignity, is always 
presented by our epic poet in its true colours, and never fails of its reward. 
It is something to be able to say of the greatest of our bards, that he was one 
of the best of men. The fruits of his genius, accordingly, may well find their 
home in the purest households. 

What the genius of Milton was the intelligence of his country has at 
length fairly recognised. In his day the Bible was regarded as a treasure 
which had been lost and found. Not more than three generations had passed 
since it had been rescued from the most guarded secresy, and made to be a 
home possession with our people. Great was the value attached to it : simple, 
earnest, and unshaken was the faith reposed in it. Statesmen like Burleigh, 
soldiers like Raleigh, scholars like Bacon, and patriots like Elliot and Hampden, 
knelt before this oracle in the spirit of little children. Its utterances were to 
them unerring, authoritative, final. Milton came in the wake of such men 
and resembled them. From the Bible his spirit received a divine baptism — a 
baptism renewed and deepened day by day. His epic, accordingly, is neither 



military nor romantic; it is religious and theological. Such was his age, and 
such is this great offspring of his genius, 

Satan is not, as some critics allege, the hero of " Paradise Lost." Nor is 
chat place assigned to Adam : it is given to the Messiah. It must be confessed, 
however, that to have made the symmetry of the inspiration complete, the 
" Paradise Regained " should have been wrought in with the " Paradise Lost." 
We might have dispensed with much in the closing portions of the latter poem 
to have made room for such a sequel. The " Paradise Lost " presents the epic 
elements of conflict, suffering, and retribution ; but the actor designed especially 
to embody the ideas of suffering and triumph, does not take an adequate part 
in the scenes which pass before us. We need to follow him from the first 
poem to the second to see him hold his due place in the great scheme 
of events. 

Great were the difficulties to be surmounted in the treatment of such a 
theme. Homer and Virgil blend the natural and the supernatural ; but the gods 
and goddesses at their disposal were so humanised already in the imagination 
of their contemporaries, as to be little other than men and women. But it 
was not so with Milton. The angel forms in Scripture, indeed, are human ; 
but they are still ethereal. They soar into the air, they pass through fire, 
they penetrate dungeons, and are impervious to matter. Their homes, too, like 
themselves, must be impalpable to sense. How, then, describe the one or the 
other? As the Bible gave the poet his subject, so it gave him his manner of 
dealing with it. His angels take the human form — that form as we may 
imagine it in heaven or hell. His heaven gives us the earth again, but the 
earth rising to a loftier grandeur, and clothed in a more lustrous, manifold, 
and mysterious beauty. His hell brings together the dark and terrible shadovv^s 
sometimes present to us in this material world — the darkness becoming still more 
dark, the terror still more terrific. Every vision and hint in the Scriptures on 
these subjects, is treasured and pondered, until it becomes suggestive, expands, 
and suffices as an outline to be filled up by the imagination. And wonderful 
is the creative power which fills up those voids. Those whom Milton has led 
into his paradise never forget that they have been there ; those who have 
ascended with him into his regions of light never cease to be conscious of the 
sights which have there fascinated them ; and those who have stood in the 
midst of his " darkness visible," and gazed on what was to be seen in that 
land where " the light is as darkness," have passed through experiences which 
have become a part of their being. It is common to speak of the sublimity of 
Milton as the highest attribute of his genius ; but only the inspiration which 
stretched out the light and darkness of his upper and nether worlds, could 
have made us dream of the beauties of his Paradise as we now do. 



Shakespeare transcends all other writers in the apparent ease with which 
his ideas seem to find birth and expression ; and in the variety of characters 
which he places, as with the touch of an enchanter, upon his canvas. In what 
Milton does there is generally a perceptible effort. But some appearances of 
this nature were inseparable from a subject so lofty in its aim, and to the 
successful presentation of which a sustained elevation of an extraordmary 
description was indispensable. It is true Milton does sometimes tell you by 
his manner that he means to say great and eloquent things. But then he 
does not disappoint you — the things are said. Only a mind thus self-conscious 
could have achieved such success in relation to such a subject. With regard 
to variety of character, it becomes us to inquire what the variety proper to 
such a history really is, and then to ask whether the writer has realised, in 
this respect, the thing to have been expected from him, "Paradise Lost" was 
not a stage on which to exhibit the ways of clowns and court fools : it has 
to do with beings who are in earnest, and awful in their goodness or in their 
ruin. Any attempt to admix the grave and the gay in such a narrative would 
have been monstrous. It would be easy to show that nothing could be more 
true to nature than the distinct traits with which the poet has adorned the 
manhood and womanhood of our first parents ; and that among the good in 
heaven, and the bad in hell, the shades of difference in character are often 
well presented, Abdiel is not a duplicate of Gabriel, nor is Michael of 
Raphael ; and wide is the space which separates between Moloch and Belial, 
Mammon and Beelzebub. These all have their own utterances ; and Satan, 
by his higher intelligence, his pride of heart and strength of will, has his 
place apart from and above them all. So wonderful is he, that he throws a 
spell over the reader through the early stages of this poem. But it is soon 
broken. As the drama develops itself, the feeling of interest in his fate gives 
place to a feeling of aversion and execration. It may seem strange that a 
being so often baffled, humbled, prostrated, should persist in his course, and 
seem to be hopeful. But we know not the space allowed to the power of self- 
illusion in the case of such natures ; and we know enough of moral agents, in 
this world, to be aware that when "a deceived heart has turned them aside," 
to be doomed to " feed on ashes " is not to be reclaimed. The power to say, 
." Is there not a lie in my right hand?" seems to pass from them.' It should 
be remembered, too, that Satanic agency is far from being wholly a failure. 
To an intelligence which moral evil has disturbed, nothing would be more 
natural than the persuasion, that the resistance which the Great Ruler does not 
at once suppress, is resistance beyond his power. 

' Isa. xliv. 20. 



It is proper to say to the uninitiated reader, that he will find some of the 
later portions even of this poem descend to the didactic, and become com- 
paratively prosaic. Some things in it, also, are open, we think, to critical 
exception. The introduction of the Divine persons in direct dialogue before the 
reader, will be generally felt as an instance of this nature. The same may be 
said, perhaps, of the allegorical beings. Sin and Death, though from the revival 
of letters poets had been fond of such representations. To know what these 
appearances denote, is to fail to realise them as objects of the imagination. 
But Satan is a reality ; and nearly everything beside in this sublime drama, 
gives us this impression. In mentioning these particulars, we merely say that 
the work is not — as no purely human work can be — wholly without fault. The 
general splendour so obscures these faint blemishes, that in thinking of Milton 
we hardly remember them. 

Milton's blindness when the greater part of his poetry was written and 
published, must have been very unfavourable to strict accuracy. Errors may 
be traced in his historical, and even in his classical allusions, which we feel 
sure would not have had any place in his writings had he not been so much 
shut off from books, and dependent on memory. There are passages, too, in 
V hich words seem to have been misunderstood by his amanuensis, or by the 
printer. No one now thinks of retaining his profuse employment of capital 
letters or his orthography, while in regard to punctuation, he must have been 
especially dependent upon others. In this last respect, more effort has been 
made than will be generally understood, in the hope of rendering this Edition 
such as the poet must have desired. 




The First Book proposes, first in brief, the whole subject, man's disobedience, and the loss thereupon of Paradise, wherein he 
was placid; then touches the prime cause of his fall, the Serpent, or rather Satan in the Serpent; who, revolting from 
God, and drawing to his side many legions of angels, was, by the command of God, driven out of Heaven, with all his crew, 
into the great deep. Which action passed over, the Poem hastens into the midst of things, presenting Satan with his 
angels now falling into Hell, described here, not in the centre.for Heaven and Earth may be supposed as yet not made, 
-ertainly not yet accursed, but in a place of utter darkness, fitliest called Chaos. Here Satan, with his angels, lying on the 
burning lake, thunderstruck and astonished, after a certain space recovers, as from confusion, calls up him who next in 
order and dignity lay by him ; they confer of their miserable fall ; Satan awakens all his legions, who lay till then in the 
same manner confounded. They rise ; their numbers ; array of battle ; their chief leaders named, according to the idols 
known afterward in Canaan and the countries adjoining. To these Satan directs his speech, comforts them with hope yet 
of regaining Heaven, but tells them lastly of a new world, and a new kind of creature to be created, according to an ancient 
prophecy, or report in Heaven ; for, that angels were long before this visible creation, was the opinion of many ancient 
fathers. To find out the truth of this prophecy, and what to determine thereon, he refers to a full council. What his 
associates thence attempt. Pandemonium, the palace of Satan, rises, suddenly built out of the deep : the infernal peers 
there sit in council. 

OF man's first disobedience, and the fruit' 
Of that forbidden tree, whose mortal taste 
Brought death into the world, and all our woe. 
With loss of Eden, till one greater Man 
Restore us, and regain the blissful seat. 
Sing, heavenly Muse,^ that on the secret top 
Of Oreb, or of Sinai, didst inspire 
That shepherd, who first taught the chosen seed 
In the begrinninof how the heavens and earth 

Few things are so fatal to the pleasant and profitable reading of an author, as the distraction occasioned by profuse, 
and often trivial, notes upon his text. Commentators on Milton have assigned a large space to coincidences between him 
and preceding writers — a wonderfully larger space than we should have thought it worth while so to occupy. We doubt not 
that much the greater part of those coincidences are coincidences of which the author was wholly unconscious ; and where 
it was otherwise, the matter is either so trivial as not to deserve to be mentioned, or the metal borrowed is borrowed almost 
invariably that it might receive an impress which the genius of Milton only could have given to it. In the annotation we 
submit to the reader, we hope to distinguish between what may be really useful, and what would be felt as only so much 
incumbrance and impediment. 

' Sing, heavenly Muse. — Prayer for the inspiration breathed into the old Hebrew prophets. Milton's third wife, who 
survived him many years, related of him that he used to compose his poetry chiefly in winter ; and on his waking in a 
morning would make her write down sometimes twenty or thirty verses. Being asked whether he did not often read Homer 
and Virgil, she understood the question as indicating a suspicion that he may have made an undue use in some instances 
of those authors, and answered with eagerness — "He stole from nobody but the Muse who inspired him;" and being 
asked by a lady present who the Muse was, she replied — " It was God's grace, and the Holy Spirit that visited him 
nightly."— jV^w/<7«'j Life of Milton. Richardson also says — "Milton would sometimes lie awake whole nights, but not a 
verse could he make ; and on a sudden his poetic fancy would rush uoon him with an impetus or cestrum.'' 



[Book I. — 10-40. 

Rose out of Chaos : or, if Sion hill 

Delight thee more, and Siloa's brook that flowed 

Fast by the oracle of God, I thence 

Invoke thy aid to my adventurous song, 

That, with no middle flight, intends to soar 

Above the Aonian mount,' while it pursues 

Things unattempted yet in prose or rhyme. 

And chiefly Thou, O Spirit,^ that dost prefer 

Before all temples the upright heart and pure, 

Instruct me, for Thou know'st : Thou from the first 

Wast present, and with mighty wings outspread. 

Dove-like, sat'st brooding on the vast abyss, 

And madest it pregnant. What in me is dark, 

Illumine ; what is low, raise and support ; 

That to the height of this great argument 

I may assert Eternal Providence, 

And justify the ways of God to men. 

Say first — for Heaven hides nothing from thy view, 
Nor the deep tract of Hell — say first, what cause 
Moved our grand parents,^ in that happy state. 
Favoured of Heaven so highly, to fall off 
From their Creator, and transgress His will 
For one restraint, lords of the world besides ? 
Who first seduced them to that foul revolt ? 
The infernal Serpent ; he it was, whose guile, 
Stirred up with envy and revenge, deceived 
The mother of mankind ; what time his pride 
Had cast him out from Heaven, with all his host 
Of rebel Angels ; by whose aid, aspiring 
To set himself in glory above his peers. 
He trusted to have equalled the Most High, 

' Above the Aonian mount. — Mount Helicon, the seat of the Greek Muses. The poet aims at higher things than 
could have come from their inspiration. 

• And chiefly Thou, O Spirit— It is thus that Milton seeks, not only the inspiration which has given us Hebrew 
poetry, but that which has given us Hebrew sanctity. 

^ Grand parents. — First, or great parents. 

p.2. Him the Almighty Power 

Hurled headlong flaming from the ethereal sky. 

Book I. , incs 44, 45. 


[Book I.— 73 

As far removed from God and light of heaven, 

As from the centre thrice to the utmost pole. 

Oh, how unlike the place from whence they fell ! 

There the companions of his fall, o'erwhelmed 

With floods and whirlwinds of tempestuous fire, 

He soon discerns ; and weltering by his side 

One next himself in power, and next in crime, 

Long after known in Palestine,' and named • 

Beelzebub : to whom the arch-enemy. 

And thence in Heaven called Satan,^ with bold words 

Breaking the horrid silence, thus began : 

If thou beest he ; but oh, how fallen ! how changed 
From him, who, in the happy realms of light, 
Clothed with transcendent brightness, didst outshine 
Myriads, though bright ! If he, whom mutual league, 
United thoughts and counsels, equal hope 
And hazard in the glorious enterprise. 
Joined with me once, now misery hath joined 
In equal ruin ; into what pit thou seest 
From what height fallen, so much the stronger proved 
He with his thunder. And till then who knew 
The force of those dire arms ? Yet not for those, 
Nor what the potent Victor in his rage 
Can else inflict, do I repent or change, 
Though changed in outward lustre, that fixed mind, 
And high disdain from sense of injured merit. 
That with the Mightiest raised me to contend, 
And to the fierce contention brought along 
Innumerable force of Spirits armed. 
That durst dislike his reign, and, me preferring, 
His utmost power with adverse power opposed 

Long after knowtt in Palestine. — Milton often speaks of the heathen gods as being .the fallen angels, practising 
in that form upon their victims. 
Satan. — Enemy, in Hebrew. 

I.— I04-I37]' 


In dubious battle on the plains of Heaven, 

And shook his throne. What though the field be lost 

All is not lost ; the unconquerable will, 

And study of revenge, immortal hate, 

And courage never to submit or yield, 

And what is else not to be overcome ; 

That glory never shall his wrath or might 

Extort from me. To bow and sue for grace 

With suppliant knee, and deify His power 

Who from the terror of this arm so late 

Doubted his empire — that were low indeed. 

That were an ignominy, and shame beneath 

This downfall. Since, by fate, the strength of gods, 

And this empyreal substance, cannot fail ; 

Since, through experience of this great event. 

In arms not worse, in foresight much advanced, 

We may with more successful hope resolve 

To wage, by force or guile, eternal war, 

Irreconcilable to our grand Foe, 

Who now triumphs, and, in the excess of joy 

Sole reigning, holds the tyranny of Heaven. 

So spake the apostate angel, though in pain, 
Vaunting aloud, but racked with deep despair ; 
And him thus answered soon his bold compeer : 

O prince, O chief of many-throned powers, 
That led the embattled seraphim to war 
Under thy conduct, and, in dreadful deeds 
Fearless, endanger'd heaven's perpetual King, 
And put to proof His high supremacy, 
Whether upheld by strength, or chance, or fate ; 
Too well I see and rue the dire event, 
That with sad overthrow and foul defeat, 
Hath lost us Heaven, and all this mighty host 
In horrible destruction laid thus low, 




[Book I. — 138-169. 

As far as gods and heavenly essences 

Can perish : for the mhid and spirit remain 

Invincible, and vigour soon returns, 

Though all our glory extinct, and happy state 

Here swallowed up in endless misery. 

But what if He our Conqueror — whom I now 

Of force believe Almighty — since no less 

Than such could have o'erpowered such force as ours — 

Have left us this our spirit and strength entire, 

Strongly to suffer and support our pains. 

That we may so suffice' His vengeful ire. 

Or do Him mightier service as His thralls^ 

By right of war, whate'er His business be, 

Here in the heart of hell to work in fire, 

Or to His errands in the gloomy Deep ? 

What can it then avail, though yet we feel 

Strength undmiinished, or eternal being. 

To undergo eternal punishment ? 

Whereto with speedy words the arch-fiend replied : 

Fallen cherub ! to be weak is miserable, 
Doing or suffering : but of this be sure, 
To do aught good never will be our task, 
But ever to do ill our sole delight. 
As being the contrary to His high will 
Whom we resist. If then His providence 
Out of our evil seek to bring forth good, 
Our labour must be to pervert that end. 
And out of good still to find means of evil ; 
Which oft-times may succeed, so as perhaps 
Shall grieve Him, if I fail not, and disturb 
His inmost counsels from their destined aim. 
But see ! the angry Victor hath recalled 

• Sufice. — Satisfy. 

Thralls. — Anglo-Saxon for slaves. Hence our word thraldoiu. 

Book i.— 70-199.] 



His ministers of vengeance and pursuit 

Back to the gates of Heaven. The sulphurous hail. 

Shot after us in storm, o'erblown, hath laid 

The fieiy surge, that from the precipice 

Of Heaven received us falling, and the thunder, 

Winged with red lightning and impetuous rage, 

Perhaps hath spent his shafts, and ceases now 

To bellow through the vast and boundless Deep. 

Let us not slip the occasion, whether scorn, 

Or satiate fur}^ yield it from our Foe. 

Seest thou the dreary plain, forlorn and wild, 

The seat of desolation, void of light. 

Save what the ghmmering of these livid flames 

Cast pale and dreadful ? Thither let us tend 

From off the tossing of these fiery waves, 

There rest — if any rest can harbour there — 

•And, re-assembling our afflicted powers, 

Consult how we may henceforth most offend 

Our Enemy, our own loss how repair, 

How overcome this dire calamity. 

What reinforcement we may gain from hope. 

If not, what resolution from despair. 

Thus Satan, talking to his nearest mate, 
With head uplift above the wave, and eyes 
That sparkling blazed, his other parts besides 
Prone on the flood, extended long and large. 
Lay floating many a rood, in bulk as huge 
As whom' the fables name of monstrous size, 
Titanian,' or Earth-born, that warred on Jove ; 
Briareus,^ or Typhon,'^ whom the den 

' As whom. — As his whom. 
Titanian. — The Titans, or giants, who according to the Greek mythology, made war upon the godr. 

* Briareus. — One of three monster brothers, described as possessing a hundred arms and fifty heads. They are said 
to have given victory to the gods over the Titans. 

< Typhon.—A. tempest-producing, and sometimes a fire-breathing giant. Hcsiod makes Typhaon and Typhoeus two 
distir.ct monster powers of the primitive world. 



fBOOK I.— 20O-23i. 

By ancient Tarsus held ; or that sea-beast 

Leviathan, which God of all His works 

Created hugest that swim the ocean stream : 

Him, haply, slumbering on the Norway foam, 

The pilot of some small night-foundered skiff, 

Deeming some island,' oft, as seamen tell, 

With fixed anchor in his scaly rind. 

Moors by his side under the lea, while night 

Invests the sea, and wished morn delays : — 

So stretched out huge in length the Arch-fiend lay 

Chained on the burning lake, nor ever thence 

Had risen, or heaved his head, but that the will 

And high permission of all-ruling Heaven 

Left him at large to his own dark designs. 

That with reiterated crimes he might 

Heap on himself damnation, while he sought 

Evil to others ; and, enraged, might see 

How all his malice served but to brinor forth 

Infinite goodness, grace, and mercy, shown 

On man by him seduced ; but on himself 

Treble confusion, wrath, and vengeance, poured. 

Forthwith upright he rears from off the pool 
His mighty stature. On each hand the flames. 
Driven backward, slope their pointing spires, and, rolled 
In billows, leave in the midst a horrid vale. 
Then with expanded wings he steers his flight 
Aloft, incumbent on the dusky air, 
That felt unusual weight, till on dry land 
He lights — if it were land that ever burned 
With solid, as the lake with liquid, fire : 
And such appeared in hue as when the force 


Of subterranean wind transports a hill 
Torn from Pelorus,' or the shattered side 

Pdorus. — The northern cape of Sicilv. 

I'^orthwith upright he rears from ofl the pool 
His mighty stature. 

Book I , lines 2 

Book I. — 233-263.] 


Of thundering ^tna, whose combustible 
And fuelled entrails thence conceiving fire, 
Sublimed with mineral fury, aid the winds 
And leave a singed bottom, all involved' 
With stench and smoke. Such resting found the sole 
Of unblessed feet. Him followed his next mate: 
Both glorying to have 'scaped the Stygian^ flood 
As gods, and by their own recovered strength, 
Not by the sufferance of supernal Power. 

Is this the region, this the soil, the clime, 
Said then the lost archangel, this the seat 
That we must change for Heaven ; this mournful gloom 
For that celestial light ? Be it so ! Since He, 
Who now is Sovran, can dispose and bid 
What shall be right : furthest from Him is best, 
Whom reason hath equalled, force hath made supreme 
Above His equals. Farewell, happy fields, 
Where joy for ever dwells ! Hail, horrors ! hail. 
Infernal world ! And thou, profoundest Hell, 
Receive thy new possessor ! One who brings 
A mind not to be changed by place -or time. 
The mind is its own place, and in itself 
Can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven. 
What matter where, if I be still the same. 
And what I should be, all but less than He 
Whom thunder hath made greater ? Here at least 
We shall be free ; the Almighty hath not built 
Here for His envy; will not drive us hence. 
Here we may reign secure, and, in my choice,^ 
To reign is worth ambition, though in Hell. 
Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven. 

' All involved. — Involved in, or along with. 

' Stygian. — From Styx— the name of the great river which is said to flow round the nether world seven times. 
• In my choice. — In my judgment — to me. 



[Book I.— 264-294 

But wherefore let we then our faithful friends, 
The associates and copartners of our loss, 
Lie thus astonished on the oblivious pool, 
And call them not to share with us their part 
In this unhappy mansion ; or once more 
With rallied arms to try what may be yet 
Regained in Heaven, or what more lost in Hell ? 

So Satan spake ; and him Beelzebub 
Thus answered : Leader of those armies bright, 
Which but the Omnipotent none could have foiled ! 
If once they hear that voice, their liveliest pledge 
Of hope in fears and dangers, heard so oft 
In worse extremes, and on the perilous edge 
Of battle, when it raged, m all assaults 
Their surest signals, they will soon resume 
New courage and revive, though now they lie 
Grovelling and prostrate on yon lake of fire. 
As we erewhile, astounded and amazed. 
No wonder, fallen such a pernicious height. 

He scarce had ceased, when the superior fiend 
Was moving towards the shore, his ponderous shield, 
Ethereal temper, massy, large, and round, 
Behind him cast. The broad circumference 
Hung on his shoulders like the moon, whose orb 
Through optic glass the Tuscan artist' views 
At evening from the top of Fesole^ 
Or in Valdarno,^ to descry new lands. 
Rivers, or mountains, in her spotty globe. 
His spear, to equal which the tallest pine, 
Hewn on Norwegian hills, to be the mast 
On some great ammiral,'* were but a wand 

• The Tuscan artist. — Galileo, the inventor of the telescope. 

• Fesole. — A hill overlooking Florence and the surrounding country. 

* Valdarno. — The seat of Florence. 

♦ Ammiral. — An Italian form of expression for admiral. The admiral's ship was often called the admir.Tl. 

I.— 295-325.] 


He walked with to support uneasy steps 

Over the burning marl, not like those steps 

On Heaven's azure, and the torrid clime 

Smote on him sore besides, vaulted with fire. 

Nathless he so endured, till on the beach 

Of that inflamed sea he stood, and called 

His legions, angel forms, who lay entranced' 

Thick as autumnal leaves that strew the brooks 

In Vallambrosa,^ where the Etrurian shades 

High overarched embower, or scattered sedge 

Afloat, when with fierce winds Orion armed 

Hath vexed the Red Sea coast, whose waves overthrew 

Busiris^ and his Memphian chivalry,'* 

While with perfidious hatred they pursued 

The sojourners of Goshen, who beheld 

From the safe shore their floating carcases 

And broken chariot-wheels : so thick bestrewn, 

Abject and lost lay these, covering the flood, 

Under amazement of their hideous change. 

He called so loud, that all the hollow deep 

Of Hell resounded : Princes, potentates, 

Warriors, the flower of Heaven, once yours, now lost, 

If such astonishment as this can seize 

Eternal spirits. Or have ye chosen this place 

After the toil of battle to repose 

Your wearied virtue, for the ease you find 

To slumber here, as in the vales of Heaven ? 

Or in this abject posture have ye sworn 

To adore the Conqueror ? — who now beholds 

Cherub and seraph rolling in the flood. 

With scattered arms and ensigns ; till anon 

• Entranced. — Bereft of mental power — incapable of action. 

' Vallavibrosa. — A wooded district about eighteen miles from Florence. 

• Biisiris. — Name given to the Pharaohs of the Red Sea. 

' Memphian chivalry. — The horsemen and charioteers who followed the Israelites. 



[Book I.— 326-357. 

His swift pursuers from Heaven-gates discern 
The advantage, and descending, tread us down 
Thus drooping, or with hnked thunderbolts 
Transfix us to the bottom of this gulf? 
Awake, arise, or be for ever fallen ! 

They heard, and were abashed, and up they sprung 
Upon the wing — as when men, wont to watch 
On duty, sleeping found by whom they dread, 
Rouse and bestir themselves ere well awake. 
Nor did they not perceive the evil plight 
In which they were, or the fierce pains not feel. 
Yet to their general's voice they soon obeyed 
Innumerable. As when the potent rod 
Of Amram's son,' in Egypt's evil day, 
Waved round the coast, up called a pitchy cloud 
Of locusts, warping on the eastern wind 
That o'er the realm of impious Pharaoh hung 
Like night, and darkened all the land of Nile : 
So numberless were those bad Angels seen, 
Hovering on wing, under the cope of Hell, 
'Twixt upper, nether, and surrounding fires, — 
Till, at a signal given, the uplifted spear 
Of their great sultan waving to direct 
Their course, in even balance down they light 
On the firm brimstone, and fill all the plain, 
A multitude, like which the populous North 
Poured never from her frozen loins, to pass 
Rhene or the Danaw," when her barbarous sons 
Came like a deluge on the south, and spread 
Beneath Gibraltar to the Libyan sands. 
Forthwith from every squadron and each band, 
The heads and leaders thither haste where stood 

Amrattis son. — Moses. 

' Rhene or the Danaw. — The Rhine or Danube. 

/. 12. 

They heard, and were abashed, and up they sprung. 

Book /., line 351 

/. 12, 

So numberless were those bad Angels seen, 
Hovering on wing, under the cope of Hell. 

Hook /., lines 314, 345. 


Their great commander. Godlike shapes, and forms 

Excelling human ; princely dignities ; 

And powers that erst in Heaven sat on thrones, 

Though of their names in heavenly records now 

Be no memorial, blotted out and rased 

By their rebellion from the Book of Life. 

Nor had they yet among the sons of Eve 

Got them new names ; till, wandering o'er the earth, 

Through God's high sufferance, for the trial of man, 

By falsities and lies the greatest part 

Of mankind they corrupted to forsake 

God their Creator, and the invisible 

Glory of Him that made them to transform 

Oft to the image of a brute, adorned 

With gay religions, full of pomp and gold, 

And devils to adore for deities: 

Then were they known to men by various names. 

And various idols through the heathen world. 

Say, Muse, their names then known. Who first, who 
Roused from the slumber, on that fiery couch. 
At their great emperor's call, as next in worth 
Came singly where he stood on the bare strand. 
While the promiscuous crowd stood yet aloof 
The chief were those, who, from the pit of Hell, 
Roaming to seek their prey on earth, durst fix 
Their seats long after next the seat of God, 
Their altars by His altar ; gods adored 
Among the nations round ; and durst abiae 
Jehovah thundering out of Sion, throned 
Between the cherubim ; yea, often placed 
Within His sanctuary itself their shrines, 
Abominations, and with cursed things 
His holy rites and solemn feasts profaned, 
And with their darkness durst affront His light. 

14 PARADISE LOST. [Book I.— 392-421. 

First, Moloch, horrid king, besmeared with blood 

Of human sacrifice, and parents' tears ; 

Though, for the noise of drums and timbrels loud, 

Their children's cries unheard, that passed through fire 

To his grim idol. Him the Ammonite 

Worshipped in Rabba' and her watery plain, 

In Argob and in Basan, to the stream 

Of utmost Arnon. Nor content with such 

Audacious neighbourhood, the wisest heart 

Of Solomon he led by fraud to build 

His temple right against the temple of God, 

On that opprobrious hill,'' and made his grove 

The pleasant valley of Hlnnom, Tophet thence 

And black Gehenna called, the type of Hell.^ 

Next, Chemos, the obscene dread of Moab's sons, 

From Aroer to Nebo, and the wild 

Of southmost Abarim ; in Hesebon, 

And Horonaim, Seon's realm, beyond 

The flowery dale of Sibma, clad with vines, 

And Eleale to the asphaltic pool.^ 

Feor his other name, when he enticed 

Israel in Sittim, on their march from Nile, 

To do him wanton rites, which cost them woe. 

Yet thence his lustful orgies he enlarged 

Even to that hill of scandal, by the grove 

Of Moloch homicide ; lust hard by hate ; 

Till good Josiah drove them hence to Hell. 

With these came they, who, from the bordering flood 

Of old Euphrates to the brook that parts 

Egypt from Syrian ground, had general names 

' In Rabba. — Capital of the Ammonites. 

' That opprobrious hill. — Made opprobrious by the uses to which it was thus applied. 

' Type of Hell. — Tophet was originally a beautiful royal residence in the Valley of Hinnom ; but from the abominations 
which came to be practised there, the later Jews were wont to burn the bodies of malefactors in that quarter, and took 
from it their " type of hell." 

« Asphaltic />rol.—Tl\e Dead Sea. 

Book I. — 422-452.J 



Of Baalim and Ashtaroth ; those male, 

These feminine ; for spirits, when they please, 

Can either sex assume, or both, — so soft 

And uncompounded is their essence pure, 

Not tied or manacled with joint or limb, 

Nor founded on the brittle strenorth of bones. 

Like cumbrous flesh, but, in what shape they choose. 

Dilated or condensed, bright or obscure, 

Can execute their aery purposes. 

And works of love or enmity fulfil. 

For those the race of Israel oft forsook 

Their Living Strength, and unfrequented left 

His righteous altar, bowing lowly down 

To bestial gods ; for which then" heads as low 

Bowed down in battle, sunk before the spear 

Of despicable foes. With these in troop 

Came Astoreth, whom the Phoenicians called 

Astarte, queen of heaven, with crescent horns, 

To whose bright image nightly by the moon 

Sidonian virgins paid their vows and songs ; 

In Sion also not unsung, where stood 

Her temple on the offensive mountain, built 

By that uxorious king, whose heart, though large. 

Beguiled by fair idolatresses, fell 

To idols foul. Thammuz came next behind, 

Whose annual wound, to Lebanon allured 

The Syrian damsels to lament his fate 

In amorous ditties all a summer's day, 

While smooth Adonis from his native rock 

Ran purple to the sea, supposed with blood 

Of Thammuz' yearly wounded : the love-tale 

' Thammuz. — A god of the Syrians — the Adonis of that people — said to die every year and to live again. Women 
professed yearly to lament his fate, and great sensual vice, as the mode of doing him homage, was the result. (See 
Ezek. viii. 13, 14.) 



fBooK I.— 453-481; 

Infected Sion's daughters with Hke heat, 

Whose wanton passions in the sacred porch 

Ezekiel saw, when, by the vision led, 

His eye surveyed the dark idolatries 

Of alienated Judah.' Next came one 

Who mourned in earnest, when the captive ark 

Maimed his brute image, heads and hands lopped off 

In his own temple, on the grunsel edge,^ 

Where he fell flat, and shamed his worshippers. 

Dagon his name, sea-monster, upward man 

And downward fish : yet had his temple high 

Reared in Azotus, dreaded through the coast 

Of Palestine, in Gath and Ascalon, 

And Accaron and Gaza's frontier bounds. 

Him followed Rimmon, whose delightful seat 

Was fair Damascus, on the fertile banks 

Of Abbana and Pharphar, lucid streams. 

He also 'gainst the house of God was bold : 

A leper once he lost, and gained a king ; 

Ahaz, his sottish conqueror, whom he drew 

God's altar to disparage and displace. 

For one of Syrian mode, whereon to burn 

His odious offerings, and adore the gods 

Whom he had vanquished. After these appeared 

A crew, who, under names of old renown, 

Osiris, I sis, Orus, and their train, 

With monstrous shapes and sorceries abused 

Fanatic Egypt, and her priests, to seek 

Their wanderino- aods disoruised in brutish forms 

Rather than human. Nor did Israel 'scape 

The infection, when their borrowed gold composed 

The calf in Oreb ; and the rebel king 

Doubled that sin in Bethel and in Dan, 

Ezek. viii. 12. 

' Grunsel edge. — Threshold. 

-jOok I.— 486-518.] 



Likening his Maker to the grazed ox, 
Jehovah, who, in one night, when He passed 
From Egypt marching, equalled with one stroke 
Both her first-born and all her bleating gods. 
Belial came last, than whom a spirit more lewd 
Fell not from heaven, or more gross to love 
Vice for itself : to him no temple stood. 
Or altar smoked : yet who more oft than he 
In temples and at altars, when the priest 
Turns atheist, as did Eli's sons, who filled 
With lust and violence the house of God ? 
In courts and palaces he also reigns, 
And in luxurious cities, where the noise 
Of riot ascends above their loftiest towers, 
And injury, and outrage : and when night 
Darkens the streets, then wander forth the sons 
Of Belial, flown with insolence and wine. 
Witness the streets of Sodom, and that night 
In Gibeah, when the hospitable door 
Exposed a matron, to avoid worse rape. 

These were the prime in order and in might ; 
The rest were long to tell, though far renowned, 
The Ionian gods, of Javan's issue held 
Gods, yet confessed later than heaven and earth. 
Their boasted parents : Titan, heaven's first-born, 
With his enormous brood, and birthright seized 
By younger Saturn ; he from mightier Jove, 
His own and Rhea's son, like measure found. 
So Jove usurping reigned. These first in Crete 
And Ida known, thence on the snowy top 
Of cold Olympus ruled the middle air. 
Their highest heaven ; or on the Delphian cliff. 
Or in Dodona,' and through all the bounds 

The Delphian cliff's or in Dodona. — There was an oracle to Apollo at Delphi, and one to Jupiter at Dodon.-v 



[Book I. — 519-550. 

Of Doric land ; or who with Saturn old 
Fled over Adria to the Hesperian fields, 
And o'er the Celtic roamed the utmost isles. 

All these and more came flocking ; but with looks 
Downcast and damp ; yet such wherein appeared 
Obscure some glimpse of joy, to have found their chief 
Not in despair, to have found themselves not lost 
In loss itself, — which on his countenance cast 
Like doubtful hue. But he, his wonted pride 
Soon recollecting, with high words, that bore 
Semblance of worth, not substance, gently raised 
Their fainting courage, and dispelled their fears. 
Then straight commands, that at the warlike sound 
Of trumpets loud and clarions, be upreared 
His mighty standard. That proud honour claim'd 
Azazel as his right ; a cherub tall, 
Who forthwith from the glittering staff unfurled 
The imperial ensign, which, full high advanced, 
Shone like a meteor streaming to the wind, 
With gems and golden lustre rich emblazed. 
Seraphic arms and trophies ; all the while 
Sonorous metal blowing martial sounds, 
At which the universal host up sent 
A shout, that tore Hell's concave, and beyond 
Frighted the reign of Chaos and old Night. 
All in a moment, through the gloom were seen 
Ten thousand banners rise into the air, 
With orient colours waving. With them rose 
A forest huge of spears ; and thronging helms 
Appeared, and serried shields in thick array, 
Of death immeasurable : anon they move 
In perfect phalanx to the Dorian mood' 

' The Dorian mood. — In the Greek or Spartan manner. 

Book I — 551-581.] 



Of flutes and soft recorders, — such as raised 
To height of noblest temper heroes old 
Arming to battle ; and instead of rage 
Deliberate valour breathed, firm and unmoved 
With dread of death to flight or foul retreat : 
Nor wanting power to mitigate and 'suage 
With solemn touches troubled thoughts, and chase 
Anguish, and doubt, and fear, and sorrow, and pain, 
From mortal or immortal minds. Thus they, 
Breathmg united force, with fixed thought. 
Moved on in silence to soft pipes, that charmed 
Their painful steps o'er the burnt soil. And now 
Advanced in view they stand, a horrid front 
Of dreadful length and dazzling arms, in guise 
Of warriors old with ordered spear and shield, 
Awaiting what command their mighty chief 
Had to impose. He through the armed files 
Darts his experienced eye, and soon traverse^ 
The whole battalion views, their order due. 
Their visages and stature as of gods, 
Their number last he sums. And now his heart 
Distends with pride, and hardening in his strength 
Glories. For never, since created man. 
Met such embodied force, as named with these 
Could merit more than that small infantry 
Warred on by cranes, though all the giant brood 
Of Phlegra^ with the heroic race were joined 
That fought at Thebes and Ilium,^ on each side 
Mixed with auxiliar gods ; and what resounds 
In fable or romance of Uther's son 
Begirt with British and Armoric knights ; 

' Traverse. — From end to end. 

« Of Phlegra.—Somn make the giant war in which Hercules was engaged to have taken place in Phlegra. 
' Thebes and Ilium. — The Greek Thebes and Troy. 



[Book I.— 82-615. 

And all who since, baptized or infidel, 

Jousted in Aspramont, or Montalban, 

Damasco, or Morocco, or Trebisond, 

Or whom Biserta sent from Afric shore. 

When Charlemain with all his peerage fell 

By Fontarabia. Thus far these beyond 

Compare of mortal prowess, yet observed 

Their dread commander. He, above the rest 

In shape and gesture proudly eminent. 

Stood like a tower. His form had yet not lost 

All its original brightness ; nor appeared 

Less than Archangel ruined, and the excess 

Of glory obscured, — as when the sun, new risen, 

Looks through the horizontal misty air, 

Shorn of his beams ; or from behind the moon, 

In dim eclipse, disastrous twilight sheds 

On half the nations, and with fear of change 

Perplexes monarchs. Darkened so, yet shone 

Above them all the ArchanQ^el. But his face 

Deep scars of thunder had intrenched, and care 

Sat on his faded cheek, but under brows 

Of dauntless courage, and considerate pride 

Waiting revenge. Cruel his eye, but cast 

Signs of remorse and passion, to behold 

The fellows of his crime, the followers rather — 

Far other once beheld in bliss — condemned 

For ever now to have their lot in pain. 

Millions of spirits for his fault amerced 

Of Heaven, and from eternal splendours flung 

For his revolt, yet faithful how they stood. 

Their glory withered : as when heaven's fire 

Hath scathed the forest oaks, or mountain pines. 

With singed top, their stately growth, though bare, 

Stands on the blasted heath. He now prepared 

DooK I.— 616-649.] 



To speak; whereat their doubled ranks they bend 
From wing to wing, and half enclose him round 
With all his peers : attention held them mute. 
Th rice he essayed, and thrice, in spite of scorn, 
Tears, such as angels weep, burst forth : at last 
Words, interwove with sighs, found out their way. 

O myriads of immortal spirits ! O powers 
Matchless, but with the Almighty ! and that strife 
Was not inglorious, though the event was dire. 
As this place testifies, and this dire change, 
Hateful to utter ! But what power of mind, 
Foreseeing or presaging, from the depth 
Of knowledge past or present, could have feared, 
How such united force of gods, how such 
As stood like these, could ever know repulse ? 
For who can yet believe, though after loss, 
That all these puissant legions, whose exile 
Hath emptied heaven, shall fail to re-ascend 
Self-raised, and re-possess their native seat ? 
For me, be witness all the host of heaven. 
If counsels different, or dangers shunned 
By me, have lost our hopes. But He who reigns 
Monarch in heaven, till then as one secure 
Sat on His throne, upheld by old repute. 
Consent or custom, and His regal state 
Put forth at full, but still His strength concealed. 
Which tempted our attempt, and wrought our fall. 
Henceforth His mioht we know, and know our own; 
So as not either to provoke, or dread 
New war provoked. Our better part remains 
To work in close design, by fraud or guile. 
What force effected not, that He no less 
At length from us may find, who overcomes 
By force, hath overcome but half his foe. 



[Book 1.-650-683. 

Space may produce new worlds ; whereof so rife 
There went a fame in heaven that he ere long 
Intended to create, and therein plant 
A generation whom his choice regard 
Should favour equal to the sons of heaven. 
Thither, if but to pry, should be perhaps 
Our first eruption. Thither or elsewhere, 
For this infernal pit shall never hold 
Celestial spirits in bondage, nor the abyss 
Long under darkness cover. But these thoughts 
Full counsel must mature. Peace is despaired ; 
For who can think submission ? War then, war, 
Open or understood, must be resolved. 

He spake: and to confirm his words, out flew 
Millions of flaming swords, drawn from the thighs 
Of mighty cherubim ; the sudden blaze 
Far round illumined Hell. Highly they raged 
Against the Highest, and fierce with grasped arms 
Clashed on their sounding shields the din of war, 
Hurling defiance toward the vault of Heaven. 

There stood a hill not far, whose grisly top 
Belched fire and rolling smoke ; the rest entire 
Shone with a glossy scurf ; undoubted sign 
That in his womb was hid metallic ore. 
The work of sulphur. Thither, winged with speed, 
A numerous brif^ade hastened : as when bands 
Of pioneers, with spade and pickaxe arm'd, 
Forerun the royal camp, to trench a field. 
Or cast a rampart. Mammon led them on. 
Mammon, the least erected spirit that fell 
From heaven, — for e'en in heaven his looks and thoughts 
Were always downward bent, admiring more 
The riches of heaven's pavement, trodden gold, 
Than aught divine or holy, else enjoyed 

Book I.— 684-717.] 



In vision beatific. By him first 

Men also, and by his suggestion taught, 

Ransacked the centre, and with impious hands 

Rifled the bowels, of their mother earth 

For treasures, better hid. Soon had his crew 

Opened into the hill a spacious wound, 

And digged out ribs of gold. Let none admire 

That riches grow in Hell, — that soil may best 

Deserve the precious bane. And here let those 

Who boast in mortal things, and wondering tell 

Of Babel, and the works of Memphian kings, 

Learn how their greatest monuments of fame, 

And strength, and art, are easily outdone 

By spirits reprobate, and in an hour, 

What in an age they, with incessant toil 

And hands innumerable, scarce perform. 

Nigh on the plain, in many cells prepared, 

That underneath had veins of liquid fire 

Sluiced from the lake, a second multitude, 

With wondrous art, founded the massy ore, 

Severing each kind, and scummed the bullion dross. 

A third as soon had formed within the ground 

A various mould, and from the boiling cells, 

By strange conveyance, filled each hollow nook. 

As in an organ, from one blast of wind, 

To many a row of pipes the soundboard breathes. 

Anon, out of the earth, a fabric huge 

Rose like an exhalation, with the sound 

Of dulcet symphonies and voices sweet, 

Built like a temple, where pilasters round 

Were set, and Doric pillars overlaid 

With golden architrave. Nor did there want 

Cornice or frieze, with bossy sculptures graven. 

The roof was fretted gold. Not Babylon, 

24 PARADISE LOST. LBook I.— 718-749. 

Nor great Alcairo,' such magnificence 

Equalled in all their glories, to enshrine 

Belus or Serapis, their gods, or seat 

Their kings, when Egypt with Assyria strove 

In wealth and luxury. The ascending pile 

Soon fixed her stately height ; and straight the doors, 

Opening their brazen folds, discover, wide 

Within, her ample spaces, o'er the smooth 

And level pavement. From the arched roof, 

Pendent by subtle magic, many a row 

Of starry lamjDS and blazing cressets, fed 

With naphtha and asphaltus, yielded light 

As from a sky. The hasty multitude 

Admiring entered ; and the work some praise, 

And some the architect. His hand was known 

In heaven by many a towered structure high. 

Where sceptred angels held their residence, 

And sat as princes, whom the supreme King 

Exalted to such power, and gave to rule. 

Each in his hierarchy, the orders bright. 

Nor was his name unheard or unadored 

In ancient Greece ; and in the Ausonian land 

Men . called him Mulciber ; and how he fell 

From heaven, they fabled, thrown by angry Jove 

Sheer o'er the crystal battlements : from morn 

To noon he fell, from noon to dewy eve, 

A summer's day ; and with the setting sun 

Dropped from the zenith, like a falling star, 

On Lemnos, ^gean isle. Thus they relate, 

Erring ;^ for he with this rebellious rout 

Fell long before ; nor aught availed him now 

To have built in heaven high towers, nor did he 'scape 

' Alcairo. — Memphis. 

' Erring. — Milton thus hnks the tradition concerning Vulcan in the Greek mythology with that of a workman of a 
higher order. 

Their summons called 
From every band and squared regiment, 
By place or choice the worthiest. 

Book I , lines 757-759- 

Book I. — 750-782.] 


By all his engines, but was headlong sent 
With his industrious crew to build in Hell. 

Meanwhile the winged heralds, by command 
Of sovereign power, with awful ceremony 
And trumpet's sound, throughout the host proclaim 
A solemn council, forthwith to be held 
At Pandemjonium, the high capital 
Of Satan and his peers. Their summons called 
From every band and squared regiment, 
By place or choice the worthiest ; they anon. 
With hundreds and with thousands, trooping came, 
Attended. All access was thronged ; the gates 
And porches wide, but chief the spacious hall — 
Though like a covered field, where champions bold 
Wont ride in armed, and at the Soldan's' chair 
Defied the best of Panim" chivalrv 
To mortal combat, or career with lance — 
Thick swarmed, both on the ground and in the air, 
Brushed with the hiss ol rustling wings. As bees 
In spring-time, when the sun with Taurus rides, 
Pour forth their populous youth about the hive 
In clusters ; they among fresh dews and flowers 
Fly to and fro, or on the smoothed plank, 
The suburb of their straw-built citadel. 
New rubbed with balm, expatiate and confer 
Their state affairs, — so thick the aery crowd 
Swarmed and were straitened, till, the signal given, 
Behold a wonder ! They but now" who seemed 
In bigness to surpass earth's giant sons, 
Now less than smallest dwarfs, in narrow room 
Throno- numberless like that Pvo;mean race 
Beyond the Indian mount ; or fairy elves. 
Whose midnight revels by a forest side 

• Soldan. — Sultan. ' Panvn. — Pagan — not Christian. 




[Book I.— 783-798. 

Or fountain, some belated peasant sees, 

Or dreams he sees, while overhead the moon 

Sits arbitress, and nearer to the earth 

Wheels her pale course ; they, on their mirth and dance 

Intent, with jocund music charm his ear; 

At once with joy and fear his heart rebounds. 

Thus incorporeal spirits to smallest forms 

Reduced their shapes immense, and were at large, 

Though without number still, amidst the hall 

Of that infernal court. But far within. 

And in their own dimensions, like themselves, 

The great seraphic lords and cherubim 

In close recess and secret conclave sat ; 

A thousand demi-gods, on golden seats, 

Frequent and full. After short silence then. 

And summons read, the great consult bes^aii. 

Hit;h on a throne of royal state, which far 
Outshone the wealth of Ormus and of Ind. 

Book II. , lines 1 , 2. 


The consultation begun, Satan debates whether another battle be to be hazarded for the recovery of heaven. Some advise 
it, others dissuade : a third proposal is preferred, mentioned before by Satan, to search the truth of that prophecy or 
tradition in heaven concerning another world, and another kind of creature, equal or not much inferior to themselves, 
about this time to be created. Their doubt, who shall be sent on this difficult search ; Satan, their chief, undertakes 
alone the voyage, is honoured and applauded. The council thus ended, the rest betake them several ways, and to 
several employments, as their inclinations lead them, to entertain the time till Satan return. He passes on his journey 
to hell-gates ; finds them shut, and who sat there to guard them ; by whom at length they are opened, and discover 
to him the great gulf between hell and heaven ; with what difficulty he passes through, directed by Chaos, the power 
of that place, to the sight of this new world which he sought. 

X JL Outshone the wealth of Ormus and of Ind,' 
Or where the gorgeous East, wi-th richest hand, 
Showers on her kings barbaric pearl and gold, 
Satan exalted sat, by merit raised 
To that bad eminence ; and, from despair 
Thus high uplifted beyond hope, aspires 
Beyond thus high ; insatiate to pursue 
Vain war with Heaven ; and, by success untaught,^ 
His proud imaginations thus displayed : 

Powers and Dominions, Deities of Heaven! 
For since no deep withm her gulf can hold 
Immortal vigour, though oppressed and fallen, 
I give not Heaven for lost. From this descent 
Celestial virtues rising, will appear 
More glorious and more dread than from no fall, 
And trust themselves to fear no second fate. 
Me though just right, and the fixed laws of Heaven. 
Did first create your leader ; next, free choice. 
With what besides, in counsel or in fight, 

* Wealth of Oniins and of Precious stones which came from India, and of which Ormus, an isljiiid in the Red 

Sea, was the great mart. 

'■^ By success untaught. — A classical form of e.\pression, meaning untaught by events — bv experience. 

IGH on a throne of royal state, which far 



[Book II.— 21-54. 

Hath been achieved of merit ; yet this loss, 
Thus far at least recovered, hath much more 
Established in a safe unenvied throne, 
Yielded with full consent. The happier state 
In Heaven, which follows dignity, might draw 
Envy from each inferior ; but who here 
Will envy whom the highest place exposes 
Foremost to stand against the Thunderer's aim, 
Your bulwark, and condemns to greatest share 
Of endless pain ? Where there is then no good 
For which to strive, no strife can grow up there 
From faction. For none sure will claim in Hell 
Precedence, — none, whose portion is so small 
Of present pain, that with ambitious mind 
Will covet more. With this advantaije then 
To union, and firm faith, and firm accord, 
More than can be in Heaven, we now return 
To claim our just inheritance of old, 
Surer to prosper than prosperity 
Could have assured us ; and, by what best way, 
Whether of open war, or covert guile. 
We now debate : who can advise, may speak. 

He ceased; and next him Moloch, sceptred king. 
Stood up, the strongest and the fiercest spirit 
That fought in Heaven, now fiercer by despair. 
His trust was with the Eternal to be deemed 
Equal in strength, and rather than be less, 
Cared not to be at all. With that care lost 
Went all his fear ; of God, or hell, or worse, 
He recked not; and these words thereafter spake: 

My sentence is for open war. Of wiles, 
More unexpert, I boast not ; them let those 
Contrive who need, or when they need, not now. 
For, while they sit contriving, shall the rest, 

Book II.— 55-88.] 



Millions that stand in arms, and longing wait 

The signal to ascend, sit lingering here. 

Heaven's fugitives, and for their dwelling-place 

Accept this dark opprobrious den of shame, 

The prison of his tyranny who reigns 

By our delay ? No ! let us rather choose, 

Armed with hell flames and fury, all at once, 

O'er Heaven's high towers to force resistless way, 

Turning our tortures mto horrid arms 

Against the torturer ; when, to meet the noise 

Of his almighty engine, he shall hear 

Infernal thunder, and, for lightning, see 

Black fire and horror shot with equal rage 

Among his Angels, and his throne itself 

Mixed with Tartarean sulphur and strange fire, 

His own invented torments. But perhaps 

The way seems difficult and steep to scale 

With upright wing against a higher foe. 

Let such bethink them, if the sleepy drench 

Of that forgetful lake benumb not still, 

That in our proper motion we ascend 

Up to our native seat : descent and fall 

To us is adverse. Who but felt of late, 

When the fierce foe humj on our broken rear 

Insulting, and pursued us through the deep, 

With what compulsion and laborious flight 

We sunk thus low ? The ascent is easy then. 

The event is feared ; should we again provoke 

Our stronger, some worse way his wrath may find 

To our destruction, — if there be in hell 

Fear to be worse destroyed. What can be worse 

Than to dwell here, driven out from bliss, condemned 

In this abhorred deep to utter woe, 

Where pain of unextinguishable fire 

PARADISE LOST. [Book II.-89-120. 

Must exercise us' without hope of end, 

The vassals of his anger, when the scourge 

Inexorable, and the torturing hour, 

Call us to penance ? More destroyed than thus 

We should be quite abolished, and expire. 

What fear we, then ? What doubt we to incense 

His utmost ire, which, to the height enraged, 

Will either quite consume us, and reduce 

To nothing this essential — happier far 

Than miserable to have eternal being — 

Or, if our substance be indeed divine, 

And cannot cease to be, we are at worst 

On this side nothing ; and by proof we feel 

Our power sufficient to disturb his heaven, 

And with perpetual inroads to alarm, 

Though inaccessible, his fatal throne. 

Which, if not victory, is yet revenge. 

He ended, frowning, and his look denounced* 
Desperate revenge, and battle dangerous 
To less than gods. On the other side up rose 
Belial, in act more graceful and humane ; 
A fairer person lost not heaven ; he seemed 
For dignity composed, and high exploit : 
But all was false and hollow ; though his tongue 
Dropt manna, and could make the worse appear 
The better reason, to perplex and dash 
Maturest counsels : for his thoughts were low : 
To vice industrious, but to nobler deeds 
Timorous and slothful ; yet he pleased the ear, 
And with persuasive accent thus began : 

I should be much for open war, O peers, 
As not behind in hate; if what was urged 

1 Exercise us. — Torment or try us — the Latin sense of the word. ' Denounced. — Menaced, proclaimed. 

II.— 121-154] 


Main reason to persuade immediate war, 

Did not dissuade me most, and seem to cast 

Ominous conjecture on the whole success ; 

When he, who most excels in fact of arms, 

In what he counsels, and in what excels. 

Mistrustful grounds his courage on despair 

And utter dissolution, as the scope 

Of all his aim, after some dire revenge. 

First, what revenge ? The towers of heaven are fille 

With armed watch, that render all access 

Impregnable. Oft on the bordering deep 

Encamp their legions ; or, with obscure wing 

Scout, far and wide into the realm of night. 

Scorning surprise. Or could we break our way 

By force, and at our heels all hell should rise 

With blackest insurrection, to confound 

Heaven's purest light ; yet our great Enemy, 

All incorruptible, would on his throne 

Sit unpolluted, and the ethereal mould, 

Incapable of stain, would soon expel 

Her mischief, and purge off the baser fire. 

Victorious. Thus repulsed, our final hope 

Is flat despair: we must exasperate 

The Almighty Victor to spend all His rage. 

And that must end us ; that must be our cure, — 

To be no more. Sad cure ! for who would lose. 

Though full of pain, this intellectual being, 

Those thoughts that wander through eternity, 

To perish rather, swallowed up and lost 

In the wide womb of uncreated night, 

Devoid of sense and motion ? And who knows, 

Let this be good, whether our angry Foe 

Can give it, or will ever? How he can, 

Is doubtful : that he never will, is sure. 

32 PARADISE LOST. . LBook II.-155-188. 

Will he, so wise, let loose at once his ire, 

Belike through impotence, or unaware, 

To give his enemies their wish, and end 

Them in his anger, whom his anger saves 

To punish endless ? Wherefore cease we then ? 

Say they who counsel war — We are decreed, 

Reserved, and destined to eternal woe : 

Whatever doing, what can we suffer more, 

What can we suffer worse ? Is this then worst, 

Thus sitting, thus consulting, thus in arms ? 

What !' when we fled amain, pursued, and struck 

W^ith heaven's afflicting thunder, and besought 

The deep to shelter us ? This hell then seemed 

A refuge from those wounds, or when we lay 

Chained on the burning lake ? That sure was worse. 

What if the breath that kindled those grim fires 

Awaked, should blow them into sevenfold rage, 

And plunge us in the flames ? Or, from above, 

Should intermitted vengeance arm again 

His red right hand to plague us ? What if all 

Her stores were opened, and this firmament 

Of Hell should spout her cataracts of fire. 

Impendent horrors, threatening hideous fall 

One day upon our heads, while we, perhaps, 

Designing or exhorting glorious war, 

Caught in a fiery tempest, shall be hurled 

Each on his rock transfixed, the sport and prey 

Of racking whirlwinds, or for ever sunk 

Under yon boiling ocean, wrapped in chains, 

There to converse with everlasting groans, 

Unrespited, unpitied, unreprieved. 

Ages of hopeless end ? This would be worse. 

War, therefore, open or concealed, alike 

My voice dissuades ; for what can force or guile 

II.— 189-222.] 


With him, or who deceive his mind, whose eye 

Views all things at one view ? He from heaven's hei 

All these our motions vain sees, and derides ; 

Not more almighty to resist our might, 

Than wise to frustrate all our plots and wiles. 

Shall we then live thus vile, the race of heaven 

Thus trampled, thus expelled to suffer here 

Chains and these torments ? Better these than worse, 

By my advice ; since fate inevitable 

Subdues us, and omnipotent decree, 

The Victor's will. To suffer, as to do. 

Our strength is equal, nor the law unjust 

That so ordains : this was at first resolved, 

If we were wise, against so great a Foe 

Contending, and so doubtful what might fall. 

I laugh, when those who at the spear are bold 

And venturous, if that fail them, shrink and fear 

What yet they know must follow, to endure 

Exile, or ignominy, or bonds, or pain. 

The sentence of their Conqueror. This is now 

Our doom ; which if we can sustain and bear. 

Our Supreme Foe in time may much remit 

His anger, and perhaps, thus far removed, 

Not mind us not offending, satisfied 

With what is punished; whence these raging files 

Will slacken, if His breath stir not their flames. 

Our purer essence then will overcome 

Their noxious vapour ; or, inured, not feel ; 

Or, changed at length, and to the place conformed 

In temper and in nature, will receive 

Familiar the fierce heat, and void of pain. 

This horror will grow mild, this darkness light : 

Besides what hope the never-ending flight 

Of future days may bring, what chance, what change 


[Book II. 

Wortn waiting : since our present lot appears 
For happy, though but ill ; for ill, not worst ; 
If we procure not to ourselves more woe. 

Thus Belial, with words clothed in reason's earb. 
Counselled ignoble ease, and peaceful sloth. 
Not peace : And after him thus Mammon spake : 

Either to disenthrone the King of Heaven 
We war, if war be best, or to regain 
Our own right lost. Him to unthrone we then 
May hope, when everlasting Fate shall yield 
To fickle Chance, and Chaos judge the strife. 
The former, vain to hope, argues as vain 
The latter ; for what place can be for us 
Within heaven's bound, unless heaven's Lord supreme 
We overpower ? Suppose he should relent. 
And publish grace to all, on promise made 
Of new subjection ; with what eyes could we 
Stand in his presence humble, and receive 
Strict laws imposed, to celebrate his throne 
With warbled hymns, and to his Godhead sing 
Forced hallelujahs, while he lordly sits 
Our envied Sovereign, and his altar breathes 
Ambrosial odours and ambrosial flowers, 
Our servile oflering^s ? This must be our task 
In heaven, this our delight. How wearisome 
Eternity so spent, in worship paid 
To whom we hate ! Let us not then pursue 
By force impossible, by leave obtained 
Unacceptable, though in heaven, our state 
Of splendid vassalage ; but rather seek 
Our own good from ourselves, and from our own 
Live to ourselves, though in this vast recess, 
Free, and to none accountable, preferring 
Hard liberty before the easy yoke 

II.— 257-290-] 


Of servile pomp. Our greatness will appear 

Then most conspicuous, when great things of small, 

Useful of hurtful, prosperous of adverse, 

We can create ; and in what place soe'er 

Thrive under evil, and work ease out of pain, 

Through labour and endurance. This deep world 

Of darkness do we dread ? How oft amidst 

Thick clouds and dark doth heaven's all-ruling Sire 

Choose to reside, his glory unobscured. 

And with the majesty of darkness round 

Covers his throne ; from whence deep thunders roar, 

Mustering their rage, and heaven resembles hell ? 

As he our darkness, cannot we his light 

Imitate, when we please ? This desert soil 

Wants not her hidden lustre, gems and gold ; 

Nor want we skill or art, from whence to raise 

Magnificence ; and what can heaven show more ? 

Our torments also may in length of time 

Become our elements ; these piercing fires 

As soft as now severe, our temper changed 

Into their temper; which must needs remove 

The sensible of pain. All things invite 

To peaceful counsels, and the settled state 

Of order, how in safety best we may 

Compose our present evils, with regard 

Of what we are, and where, dismissing quite 

All thouorhts of war. Ye have what I advise. 

He scarce had finished, when such murmur filled 
The assembly, as when hollow rocks retain 
The sound of blustering winds, which all night long 
Had roused the sea, now with hoarse cadence lull 
Seafaring men o'erwatched, whose bark by chance 
Or pinnace, anchors in a craggy bay 
After the tempest, such applause was heard 


(Book II. 

As Mammon ended, and his sentence pleased, 

Advising peace. For such another field 

They dreaded worse than hell, so much the fear 

Of thunder and the sword of Michael 

Wrought still within them. And no less desire 

To found this nether empire, which might rise 

By policy, and long process of time, 

In emulation opposite to heaven. 

Which when Beelzebub perceived, than whom, 

Satan except, none higher sat, with grave 

Aspect he rose, and in his rising seemed 

A pillar of state. Deep on his front engraven 

Deliberation sat, and public care ; 

And princely counsel in his face yet shone, 

Majestic, though in ruin. Sage he stood. 

With Atlantean shoulders, fit to bear 

The weight of mightiest monarchies. His look 

Drew audience and attention still as night 

Or summer's noontide air, while thus he spake : 

Thrones, and imperial powers, offspring of heaven, 
Ethereal virtues ! or these titles now 
Must we renounce, and, changing style, be called 
Princes of hell ? For so the popular vote 
Inclines, here to continue, and build up here 
A growing empire. Doubtless, while we dream. 
And know not that the Kine of Heaven hath doomed 
This place our dungeon, not our safe retreat 
Beyond his potent arm, to live exempt 
From heaven's high jurisdiction, in new league 
Banded against his throne, but to remain 
In strictest bondage, though thus far removed. 
Under the inevitable curb reserved. 
His captive multitude : for he, be sure, 
In height or depth, still first and last will reign 

Book II.— 325-358-] 



Sole king, and of His kingdom lose no part 

By our revolt, but over hell extend 

His empire, and with iron sceptre rule 

Us here, as with his golden those in heaven. 

What sit we then projecting peace and war ? 

War hath determined us, and foiled with loss 

Irreparable ; terms of peace yet none 

Vouchsafed or sought ; for what peace will be given 

To us enslaved, but custody severe, 

And stripes, and arbitrary punishment, 

Inflicted ? and what peace can we return, 

But to our power hostility and hate, 

Untamed reluctance, and revenge, though slow, 

Yet ever plotting how the Conqueror least 

May reap his conquest, and may least rejoice 

In doinof what we most in sufferinQ^ feel P 

Nor will occasion want, nor shall we need 

With dangerous expedition to invade 

Heaven, whose high walls fear no assault or siege. 

Or ambush from the deep. What if we find 

Some easier enterprise ? There is a place — 

If ancient and prophetic fame in heaven 

Err not, — another world, the happy seat 

Of some new race, called Man, about this time 

To be created like to us, though less 

In power and excellence, but favoured more 

Of him who rules above. So was his will 

Pronounced among the gods, and by an oath. 

That shook Heaven's whole circumference, confirmed. 

Thither let us bend all our thoughts, to learn 

What creatures there inhabit, of what mould 

Or substance, how endued, and what their power, 

And where their weakness, how attempted best, 

By force or subtlety. Though heaven be shut, 



[Book II.— 359-39»' 

And heaven's high Arbitrator sit secure 
In his own strength, this place may He exposed, 
The utmost border of his kingdom, left 
To their defence who hold it. Here perhaps 
Some advantageous act may be achieved 
By sudden onset, either with hell-fire 
To waste his whole creation, or possess 
All as our own, and drive, as we were driven, 
The puny habitants. Or, if not drive, 
Seduce them to our party, that their God 
May prove their foe, and with repenting hand 
Abolish his own works. This would surpass 
Common revenge, and interrupt his joy 
In our confusion, and our joy upraise 
In his disturbance ; when his darling sons, 
Hurled headlong to partake with us, shall curse 
Their frail original, and faded bliss, 
Faded so soon. Advise, if this be worth 
Attempting, or to sit in darkness here 
Hatching vain empires. — Thus Beelzebub 
Pleaded his devilish counsel, first devised 
By Satan, and in part proposed. For whence, 
But from the author of all ill, could spring 
So deep a malice, to confound the race 
Of mankind in one root, and earth with hell 
To mingle and involve, done all to spite 
The great Creator ? But their spite still serves 
His glory to augment. The bold design 
Pleased highly those infernal states, and joy 
Sparkled in all their eyes. With full assent 
They vote. Whereat his speech he thus renews : 
Well have ye judged, w^ell ended long debate, 
Synod of gods ! and, like to what ye are, . 
Great things resolved, which, from the lowest deep, 

I'-— 393-426 J 


Will once more lift us up, in spite of fate, 

Nearer our ancient seat. Perhaps in view 

Of those bright confines, whence, with neighbouring ar 

And opportune excursion, we may chance 

Re-enter heaven ; or else in some mild zone 

Dwell, not unvisited of heaven's fair lieht 

Secure, and at the brightening orient beam 

Purge off this gloom : the soft delicious air, 

To heal the scar of these corrosive fires, 

Shall breathe her balm. But first, whom shall we sen 

In search of this new world ? Whom shall we find 

Sufficient ? Who shall tempt with wandering feet 

The dark, unbottomed, infinite abyss. 

And through the palpable obscure find out 

His uncouth way, or spread his aery flight, 

Upborne with indefatigable wings, 

Over the vast abrupt, ere he arrive 

The happy isle ? What strength, what art, can then 

Suffice, or what evasion bear him safe 

Through the strict sentries and stations thick 

Of Angels watching round ? Here he had need 

All circumspection ; and we now no less 

Choice in our suffrage ; for, on whom we send, 

The weight of all, and our last hope, relies. 

This said, he sat ; and expectation held 
His look suspense, awaiting who appeared 
To second, or oppose, or undertake, 
The perilous attempt. But all sat mute, 
Pondering the danger with deep thoughts ; and each 
In other's countenance read his own dismay. 
Astonished. None among the choice and prime 
Of those heaven-warring champions could be found 
So hardy, as to proffer or accept 
Alone the dreadful voyage ; till at last 



Satan, whom now transcendent glory raised 
Above his fellows, with monarchal pride. 
Conscious of highest worth, unmoved thus spake : 

O progeny of Heaven ! empyreal Thrones ! 
With reason hath deep silence and demur 
Seized us, though undismayed. Long is the way 
And hard, that out of hell leads up to light ; 
Our prison strong ; this huge convex of fire, 
Outrageous to devour, immures us round 
Ninefold, and gates of burning adamant, 
Barred over us, prohibit all egress. 
These passed, if any pass, the void profound 
Of unessential night receiyes him next 
Wide gaping, and with utter loss of being 
Threatens him, plunged in that abortive gulf. 
If thence he 'scape into whatever world. 
Or unknown region, what remains him less 
Than unknown dangers, and as hard escape ? 
But I should ill become this throne, O peers. 
And this imperial sovereignty, adorned 
With splendour, armed with power, if aught proposed 
And judged of public moment, in the shape 
Of difficulty or danger, could deter 
Me from attempting. Wherefore do I assume 
These royalties, and not refuse to reign, 
Refusing to accept as great a share 
Of hazard as of honour, due alike 
To him who reigns, and so much to him due 
Of hazard more, as he above the rest 
High honoured sits ? Go, therefore, mighty powers, 
Terror of heaven, though fallen ! intend at home — 
While here shall be our home, — what best may ease 
The present misery, and render Hell 
M ore. tolerable ; if there be cure or charm. 

II.— 461-492.] 


To respite, or deceive, or slack the pain 

Of this ill mansion. Intermit no watch 

Against a wakeful Foe, while I abroad. 

Through all the coasts of dark destruction seek 

Deliverance for us all. This enterprise 

None shall partake with me. Thus saying, rose 

The monarch, and prevented all reply ; 

Prudent, lest, from his resolution raised. 

Others among the chief might offer now — 

Certain to be refused — what erst they feared, 

And, so refused, might in opinion stand 

His rivals, winning cheap the high repute, 

Which he through hazard huge must earn. But tl 

Dreaded not more the adventure, than his voice 

Forbidding ; and at once with him they rose. 

Their rising all at once was as the sound 

Of thunder heard remote. Toward him they bend 

With awful reverence prone ; and as a god 

Extol him equal to the Highest in heaven. 

Nor failed they to express how much they praised, 

That for the general safety he despised 

His own. For neither do the spirits damned 

Lose all their virtue ; lest bad men should boast 

Their specious deeds on earth, which glory excites, 

Or close ambition, varnished o'er with zeal. 

Thus they their doubtful consultations dark 
Ended, rejoicing in their matchless chief 
As when from mountain-tops the dusky clouds 
Ascending, while the north wind sleeps, o'erspread 
H eaven's cheerful face, the louring element' 
Scowls o'er the darkened landskip snow, or shower, 
If chance the radiant sun, with farewell sweet. 

' Element. — The higher atmosphere, the elements filling it. 

4 2 PARADISE LOST. [Book II.-493-524. 

Extend his evenini:^ beam, the fields revive, 

The birds their notes renew, and bleating herds 

Attest their joy, that hill and valley rings. 

O shame to men ! Devil with devil damned 

Firm concord holds, men only disagree 

Of creatures rational, though under hope 

Of heavenly grace ; and, God proclaiming peace, 

Yet live in hatred, enmity, and strife. 

Among themselves, and levy cruel wars. 

Wasting the earth, each other to destroy : 

As if — which might induce us to accord — 

Man had not hellish foes enow besides, 

That day and night for his destruction wait. 

The Stygian council thus dissolved, and forth 
In order came the grand infernal peers. 
Midst came their mighty paramount,' and seemed 
Alone the antagonist of Heaven, nor less 
Than Hell's dread emperor, with pomp suprem.e, 
And god-like imitated state. Him round 
A globe of fiery seraphim enclosed 
With bright emblazonry, and horrent arms. 
Then, of their session ended, they bid cry 
With trumpets' regal sound the great result. 
Toward the four winds four speedy cherubim 
Put to their mouths the sounding alchemy,^ 
By herald's voice explained ; the hollow abyss 
Heard far and wide, and all the host of Hell 
With deafening shout returned them loud acclaim. 

Thence more at ease their minds, and somewhat raised 
By false presumptuous hope, the ranged powers 
Disband, and, wandering, each his several way 
Pursues, as inclination or sad choice 

' Paramount. — Chief —lord paramount. 

' Soundhtg alchemy. — The metal of which trumpets are made- 

Book II.— 525-554.J 



Leads him, perplexed where he may HkeHest find 

Truce to his resdess thoughts, and entertain 

The irksome hours, till his great chief return. 

Part on the plain, or in the air sublime 

Upon the wing, or in swift race contend. 

As at the Olympian games or Pythian fields;' 

Part curb their fiery steeds, or shun the goal 

With rapid wheels, or fronted brigads form. 

As when, to warn proud cities, war appears 

Waged in the troubled sky, and armies rush 

To battle in the clouds, before each van 

Prick forth the aery knights, and couch their spears 

Till thickest legions close ; with feats of arms 

From either end of heaven the welkin burns. 

Others, with vast Typhoean rage, more fell, 

Rend up both rocks and hills, and ride the air 

In whirlwind. Hell scarce holds the wild uproar. 

As when Alcides,^ from CEchalia crowned 

W^ith conquest, felt the envenomed robe, and tore 

Through pain up by the roots Thessalian pines, 

And Lichas from the top of CEta threw 

Into the Euboic sea. Others, more mild, 

Retreated in a silent valley, sing 

With notes angelical to many a harp 

Their own heroic deeds, and hapless fall 

By doom of battle ; and complain that fate 

Free virtue should enthral to force or chance. 

Their song was partial ; but the harmony — 

What could it less when spirits immortal sing ? — 

Suspended Hell,^ and took with ravishment 

' As at the Olympian games or Pythian Jields. — The Olympic games, in part described in the text, had descended 
as a custom from early times in Greek history, and were celebrated every four years. An Olympiad in Greek chronology 
consisted of these four years. 

' As when Alcides. — A name given to Hercules. 

* Suspended Hell. — Helped them to forget it. 

PARADISE LOST. IBook 11.-555-386. 

The thronofine audience. In discourse more sweet — 

For eloquence the soul, song charms the sense — 

Others apart sat on a hill retired, 

In thoughts more elevate, and reasoned high 

Of providence, foreknowledge, will, and fate ; 

Fixed fate, free will, foreknowledge absolute, 

And found no end, in wandering mazes lost. 

Of good and evil much they argued then, 

Of happiness and final miser3^ 

Passion and apathy, and glory and shame, 

Vain wisdom all, and false philosophy. 

Yet, with a pleasing sorcery, could charm 

Pain for a while, or anguish, and excite 

Fallacious hope, or arm the obdured breast 

With stubborn patience, as with triple steel. 

Another part, in squadrons and gross bands, 

On bold adventure to discover wide 

That dismal world, if any clime perhaps 

Might yield them easier habitation, bend 

Four ways their flying march, along the banks 

Of four infernal rivers, that disgorge 

Into the burning lake their baleful streams : 

Abhorred Styx, the flood of deadly hate ; 

Sad Acheron,' of sorrow, black and deep ; 

Cocytus, named of lamentation loud 

Heard on the rueful stream ; fierce Phlegethon,^ 

Whose waves of torrent fire infiame with rage. 

Far off from these, a slow and silent stream, 

Lethe, the river of oblivion, rolls 

Her watery labyrinth, whereof who drinks. 

Forthwith his former state and being forgets. 

Forgets both joy and grief, pleasure and pain. 

Sad Acheron. — A river in the region of the lost, also called Cocytus, and said to utter a wail ot sorrow as it flows. 
Fierce Phlegcthon. —Another of the infernal rivers, sometimes described as the fierce and bloody. 

Book 11.-587-617.] 



Beyond this flood a frozen continent 

Lies dark and wild, beat with perpetual storms 

Of whirlwind and dire hail, which on firm land 

Thaws not, but gathers heap, and ruin seems 

Of ancient pile ; or else deep snow and ice, 

A gulf profound as that Serbonian bog' 

Betwixt Damiata and mount Casius old. 

Where armies whole have sunk. The parching air 

Burns frore,^ and cold performs the effect of fire. 

Thither, by harpy-footed furies haled. 

At certain revolutions, all the damned 

Are brought ; and feel by turns the bitter change 

Of fierce extremes, extremes by change more fierce ; 

From beds of raging fire, to starve in ice 

Their soft ethereal warmth, and there to pine 

Immovable, infixed, and frozen round, 

Periods of time ; thence hurried back to fire. 

They ferry over this Lethean sound 

Both to and fro, their sorrow to augment, 

And wish and struggle, as they pass, to reach 

The tempting stream, with one small drop to lose 

In sweet forgetfulness all pain and woe. 

All in one moment, and so near the brink ; 

But fate withstands, and to oppose the attempt 

Medusa^ with Gorgonian terror guards 

The ford, and of itself the water flies 

All taste of living wight, as once it fled 

The Hp of Tantalus. Thus roving on 

In confused march forlorn, the adventurous bands, 

With shuddering horror pale, and eyes aghast, 

Viewed first their lamentable lot, and found 

' Serbonian bog. — A lake, with its adjacent marsh, near one of the mouths of the Nile. 

5 Burns frore. — Burns frosty. Intense cold becomes heat. " When the cold north wind bloweth, it devoureth the 
mountains, and burneth the wilderness, and consumeth the grass as fire." (Ecclus. xlii. 20, 21.) 

' Medusa. — One of the three fearful sisters knov/n by the name of Gorgons. Their heads arc said to have been 
covered with hissmg serpents in place of hair, and they had brazen claws, enormous teeth, and wings. 

46 PARADISE LOST. [Cook II.-618-649. 

No rest. Through many a dark and dreary vale 

They passed, and many a region dolorous, 

O'er many a frozen, many a fieiy Alp, 

Rocks, caves, lakes, fens, bogs, dens, and shades of death, 

A universe of death, which God by curse 

Created evil, for- evil only good ; 

Where all life dies, death lives, and Nature breeds 

Perverse, all monstrous, all prodigious things. 

Abominable, unutterable, and worse 

Than fables yet have feigned, or fear conceived, 

Gorgons, and Hydras, and Chimeras dire.' 

Meanwhile, the adversary of God and man, 
Satan, with thoughts inflamed of highest design. 
Puts on swift wings, and towards the gates of hell 
Explores his solitary flight. Sometimes 
He scours the right-hand coast, sometimes the left; 
Now shaves with level wing the deep, then soars 
Up to the fiery concave towering' high. 
As when far off at sea a fleet descried 
Hangs in the clouds, by equmoxial winds 
Close sailing from Bengala, or the isles 
Of Ternate and Tidore, whence merchants bring 
Their spicy drugs ; they on the trading flood, 
Through the wide Ethiopian to the Cape, 
Ply stemming nightly toward the pole : so seemed 
Far off the flying fiend. At last appear 
Hell-bounds, high reaching to the horrid roof, 
And thrice threefold the gates. Threefolds were brass, 
Three iron, three of adamantine rock 
Impenetrable, impaled with circling fire, 
Yet unconsumed. Before the gates there sat 
■On either side a formidable shape ; 

' Gordons and Hydras, and Chimeras dire.—V\r^\ aiid Tasso had fixed all these monstrous existences in their 
hell long since. 

Gorgons, and Hydras, and Chimeras dire. 

Book II , line 628. 

*. 46. 

Before the gates there sat 
On either side a formidable shape. 

Pook //. , liui-s 648, 649. 

Book I i.— 650-680.] 



The one seemed woman to the waist, and fair; 

But ended foul in many a scaly fold 

Voluminous and vast, a serpent armed 

W^ith mortal sting. About her middle round 

A cry of hell-hounds never-ceasing barked. 

With wide Cerberian mouths,' full loud, and rung 

A hideous peal. Yet when they list, would creep, 

If aught disturbed their noise, into her womb, 

And kennel there ; yet there still barked and howled 

Within, unseen. Far less abhorred than these 

Vexed Scylla, bathing in the sea that parts 

Calabria from the hoarse Trinacrian^ shore. 

Nor uglier follow the night-hag, when, called 

In secret, riding through the air she comes. 

Lured with the smell of infant blood, to dance 

With Lapland witches, while the labouring moon 

Eclipses at their charms. The other shape. 

If shape it might be called that shape had none 

Distinguishable in member, joint, or limb. 

Or substance miorht be called that shadow seemed, 

For each seemed either — black it stood as Night, 

Fierce as ten Furies, terrible as Hell, 

And shook a dreadful dart ; what seemed his head 

The likeness of a kingly crown had on. 

Satan was now at hand, and from his seat 

The monster moving onward, came as fast 

With horrid strides ; Hell trembled as he strode. 

The undaunted fiend what this might be admired,^ 

Admired, not feared. God and His Son except, 

Created thing nought valued he, nor shunned ; 

And with disdainful look thus first beean : 

' Cerberian mouths. — Cerberus, the name given to the dog said to guard the entrance to the infernal regions. Commonly 
described as having three heads, but by some poets as having many more. 

* Trinacrian. — Sicihan. 

* Admired. — Wondered. 



[Book 11.-681-712. 

Whence, and what art thou, execrable shape ! 
That darest, though grim and terrible, advance 
Thy miscreated front athwart my way 
To yonder gates ? Through them I mean to pass, 
That be assured, without leave asked of thee. 
Retire, or taste thy folly, and learn by proof, 
Hell-born, not to contend with spirits of heaven! 

To whom the goblin, full of wrath, replied : 
Art thou that traitor-angel, art thou he. 
Who first broke peace in Heaven, and faith, till then 
Unbroken; and in proud rebellious arms, 
Drew after hmi the third part of heaven's sons 
Conjured against the Highest ; for which both thou 
And they, outcast from God, are here condemned 
To waste eternal days in woe and pain ? 
And reckonest thou thyself with Spirits of Heaven, 
Hell-doomed, and breathest defiance here and scorn. 
Where I reign king, and, to enrage thee more, 
Thy king and lord 1 Back to thy punishment, 
False fugitive, and to thy speed add wings, 
Lest with a whip of scorpions I pursue 
Thy lingering, or with one stroke of this dart 
Strange horror seize thee, and pangs unfelt before. 

So spake the grizzly Terror, and in shape. 
So speaking and so threatening, grew tenfold 
More dreadful and deform. On the other side, 
Incensed with indignation, Satan stood 
Unterrified, and like a comet burned, 
That fires the length of Ophiuchus huge' 
In the arctic sky, and from his horrid hair 
Shakes pestilence and war. Each at the head 
Levelled his deadly aim ; their fatal hands 

' Ophiuchus huge. — i.e., seqjent- holder ; one of the northern constellations. 

II.— 713-746.] 


No second stroke intend ; and such a frown 

Each cast at the other, as when two black clouds, 

With heaven's artillery fraught, come rattling on 

Over the Caspian, then stand front to front, 

Hovering a space, till winds the signal blow 

To join their dark encounter in mid-air : 

So frowned the mighty combatants, that Hell 

Grew darker at their frown ; so matched they stood, 

For never but once more was either like 

To meet so great a Foe : And now great deeds 

Had been achieved, whereof all Hell had rung, 

Had not the snaky sorceress that sat 

Fast by hell-gate, and kept the fatal key. 

Risen, and with hideous outcry rushed between. 

O father ! what intends thy hands, she cried. 
Against thy only son ? What fury, O son ! 
Possesses thee to bend that mortal dart 
Against thy father's head ? and know'st for whom ; 
For Him who sits above, and laughs the while 
At thee ordained his drudije, to execute 
Whate'er His wrath, which He calls justice, bids ; 
His wrath, which one day will destroy ye both! 

She spake, and at her words the hellish pest 
Forbore ; then these to her Satan returned : 

So strange thy outciy, and thy words so strange 
Thou interposest, that my sudden hand. 
Prevented, spares to tell thee yet by deeds 
What it intends, till first I know of thee, 
What thing thou art, thus double-formed, and why, 
In this infernal vale first met, thou call'st 
Me father, and that phantasm call'st my son : 
I know thee not, nor ever saw till now 
Sight more detestable than him and thee. 

To whom thus the portress of hell-gate replied : 


[Book II.—747-7S0. 

Hast thou forgot me then, and do I seem 

Now In thine eye so foul, once deemed so fair 

In Heaven ? when at the assembly, and in sight 

Of all the seraphim with thee combined 

In bold conspiracy against Heaven's King, 

All on a sudden miserable pain 

Surprised thee ; dim thine eyes, and dizzy swum 

In darkness, while thy head flames thick and fast 

Threw forth ; till, on the left side opening wide, 

Likest to thee in shape and countenance bright, 

Then shining heavenly fair, a goddess armed, 

Out of thy head I sprung. Amazement seized 

All the host of heaven ; back they recoiled afraid 

At first, and called me Sin, and for a sign 

Portentous held me ; but, familiar grown, 

I pleased, and with attractive graces won 

The most averse, thee chiefly, who full oft 

Thyself in me thy perfect image viewing, 

Became enamoured, and such joy thou took'st 

With me in secret, that my womb conceived 

A growing burden. Meanwhile war arose, 

And fields were fought in heaven ; wherein remained — 

For what could else ? — to our Almighty Foe 

Clear victory ; to our part loss and rout. 

Through all the Empyrean. Down they fell, 

Driven headlong from the pitch of heaven, down 

Into this deep ; and in the general fall, 

I also ; at which time, this powerful key 

Into my hand was given, with charge to keep 

These gates for ever shut, which none can pass 

Without my opening. Pensive here I sat 

Alone ; but long I sat not, till my womb. 

Pregnant by thee, and now excessive grown, 

Prodigious motion felt, and rueful throes. 

Some natural tears they dropt, but wiped them soon. 

Book XII , line 645. 

Book 11.-781-812.1 



At last this odious offspring whom thou seest, 

Thine own begotten, breaking violent way, 

Tore through my entrails, that, with fear and pain 

Distorted, all my nether shape thus grew 

Transformed. But he my inbred enemy 

Forth issued, brandishing his fatal dart. 

Made to destroy. I fled, and cried out Death ! 

Hell trembled at the hideous name, and sighed 

Far from her caves, and back resounded. Death ! 

I fled ; but he pursued — though more, it seems. 

Inflamed with lust than rage — and, swifter far. 

Me overtook, his mother, all dismayed, 

And in embraces forcible and foul 

Ingendering with me, of that rape begot 

These yelling monsters, that with ceaseless cry 

Surround me, as thou sawest ; hourly conceived 

And hourly born, with sorrow infinite 

To me ; for, when they list, into the womb 

That bred them they return, and howl, and gnaw 

My bowels, their repast ; then bursting forth 

Afresh, with conscious terrors vex me round, 

That rest or intermission none I find. 

Before mine eyes in opposition sits 

Grim Death, my son and foe, who sets them on, 

And me his parent would full soon devour 

For want of other prey, but that he knows 

His end with mine involved;' and knows that 1 

Should prove a bitter morsel, and his bane, 

Whenever that shall be ; so fate pronounced. 

But thou, O father, I forewarn thee, shun 

His deadly arrow ; neither vainly hope 

To be invulnerable in those bright arms, 

His end with mine involved.— As, death came Dy sin, the destruction ot sin would bring an end to death. 


[Book II.- 

Though tempered heavenly ; for that mortal dint, 
Save He who reigns above, none can resist. 

She finished ; and the subtle fiend his lore 
Soon learned, now milder, and thus answered smooth : 

Dear daughter, since thou claim'st me for thy sire, 
And my fair son here show'st me, the dear pledge 
Of dalliance had with thee in heaven, and joys 
Then sweet, now sad to mention, through dire change 
Befallen us, unforeseen, unthought of; know, 
I come no enemy, but to set free 
From out this dark and dismal house of pain 
Both him and thee, and all the heavenly host 
Of spirits, that, in our just pretences armed, 
Fell with us from on high. From them I go 
This uncouth errand sole ; and, one for all. 
Myself expose, with lonely steps to tread 
The unfounded deep, and through the void immense 
To search with wandering quest a place foretold 
Should be, and, by concurring signs, ere now 
Created, vast and round, a place of bliss 
In the purlieus' of heaven, and therein placed 
A race of upstart creatures, to supply 
Perhaps our vacant room ; though more removed, 
Lest heaven, surcharged with potent multitude. 
Might hap to move new broils. Be this or aught 
Than this more secret now designed, I haste 
To know ; and, this once known, shall soon return. 
And bring ye to the place where thou and Death 
Shall dwell at ease, and up and down unseen 
Wing silently the buxom air,^ embalmed 
With odours ; there ye shall be fed and filled 
Immeasurably, all things shall be your prey. 

' Purlieus. — Adjacent and open parts. 

Tke buxom air. — Light, yielding. 

Book II.-845-878.I PARADISE LOST. 5 

He ceased, for both seemed highly pleased ; and Deadi 
Grinned horrible a ghasdy smile, to hear 
His famine should be filled ; and blessed his maw 
Destined to that good hour. No less rejoiced 
His mother bad, and thus bespake her sire : 

The key of this infernal pit by due. 
And by command of heaven's all-powerful King, 
I keep, by him forbidden to unlock 
These adamantine gates ; against all force 
Death ready stands to interpose his dart, 
Fearless to be o'ermatched by living might. 
But what owe I to His commands above 
Who hates me, and hath hither thrust me down 
Into this gloom of Tartarus profound. 
To sit in hateful office here confined, 
Inhabitant of heaven, and heavenly born, 
Here, in perpetual agony and pain. 
With terrors and with clamours compassed round 
Of mine own brood, that on my bowels feed ? 
Thou art my lather, thou my author, thou 
My being gavest me ; whom should I obey 
But thee ? whom follow ? Thou wilt bring me soon 
To that new world of light and bliss, among 
The gods who live at ease, where I shall reign 
At thy right hand voluptuous, as beseems 
Thy daughter and thy darling, without end. 

Thus saying, from her side the fatal key, 
Sad instrument of all our woe, she took ; 
And towards the gate rolling her bestial train, 
Forthwith the huge portcullis high updrew. 
Which but herself, not all the Stygian powers 
Could once have moved ; then in the key-hole turns 
The intricate wards, and every bolt and bar 
Of massy iron or solid rock with ease 



IBooK II.— 879-910. 

Unfastens. On a sudden open fly, 

With impetuous recoil and jarring sound, 

The infernal doors, and on their hinges grate 

Harsh thunder, that the lowest bottom shook 

Of Erebus/ She opened, but to shut 

Excelled her power : the gates wide open stood, 

That with extended wings a bannered host. 

Under spread ensigns marching, might pass through, 

With horse and chariots ranked in loose array ; 

So wide they stood, and like a furnace-mouth 

Cast forth redounding smoke and ruddy flame. 

Before their eyes in sudden view appear 
The secrets of the hoary deep ; a dark 
Illimitable ocean, without bound, 

Without dimension, where length, breadth, and height, 

And time, and place, are lost ; where eldest Night 

And Chaos, ancestors of Nature, hold 

Eternal anarchy, amidst the noise 

Of endless wars, and by confusion stand. 

For Hot, Cold, Moist, and Dry, four champions fierce. 

Strive here for mastery, and to battle bring 

Their embryon atoms ; they around the flag 

Of each his faction, in their several clans, 

Light-armed or heavy, sharp, smooth, swift, or slow, 

Swarm populous, unnumbered as the sands 

Of Barca or Cyrene's torrid soil. 

Levied to side with warring winds, and poise 

Their lighter wings. To whom these most adhere 

He rules a moment. Chaos umpire sits, 

And by decision more embroils the fray 

By which he reigns. Next him, high arbiter^, 

Chance governs all. Into this wild abyss, 

Erebtis. — Dark shades below, through which spirits were supposed to pass into Hades. 

II.— 911— 944-] 


The womb of Nature, and perhaps her grave, 

Of neither sea, nor shore, nor air, nor fire, 

But all these in their pregnant causes mixed 

Confusedly, and which thus must ever fight, 

Unless the Almighty Maker them ordain 

His dark materials to create more worlds; 

Into this wild abyss, the wary fiend 

Stood on the brink of hell, and looked awhile, 

Pondering his voyage ; for no narrow frith 

He had to cross. Nor was his ear less pealed 

With noises loud and ruinous — to compare 

Great things with small — than when Bellona storms 

With all her battering engines bent to raze 

Some capital city ; or less than if this frame 

Of heaven were falling, and these elements 

In mutiny had from her axle torn 

The steadfast earth. At last his sail-broad vans 

He spreads for flight, and in the surging smoke 

Uplifted spurns the ground ; thence many a league. 

As in a cloudy chair, ascending, rides 

Audacious ; but, that seat soon failing, meets 

A vast vacuity. All unawares. 

Fluttering his pennons vain, plumb down he drops 
Ten thousand fathom deep ; and to this hour 
Down had been falling, had not, by ill chance, 
The strong rebuff of some tumultuous cloud, 
Instinct with fire and nitre, hurried him 
As many miles aloft. That fuiy stayed, 
Quenched in a boggy syrtis, neither sea. 
Nor good dry land ; nigh foundered, on he fares, 
Treading the crude consistence, half on foot, 
Half flying. Behoves him now both oar and sail. 
As when a gryphon, through the wilderness 
With winged course, o'er hill or moory dale, 


[Book 11.-945 97J- 

Pursues the Arimaspian/ who by stealth 

Had from his wakeful custody purloined 

The guarded gold : so eagerly the fiend 

O'er bog, or steep, through strait, rough, dense, or rare. 

With head, hands, wings, or feet, pursues his way. 

And swims, or sinks, or wades, or creeps, or flies. 

At length a universal hubbub wild. 

Of stunning sounds, and voices all confused, 

Borne through the hollow dark, assaults his ear 

With loudest vehemence. Thither he plies, 

Undaunted, to meet there whatever power 

Or spirit of the nethermost abyss 

Might in that noise reside, ol whom to ask 

Which way the nearest coast ol darkness lies 

Bordering on light ; when straight behold the throne 

Of Chaos,^ and his dark pavilion spread 

Wide on the wasteful deep ; with him enthroned 

Sat sable-vested Night, eldest of things,^ 

The consort of his reign ; and by them stood 

Orcus and Hades,"^ and the dreaded name 

Of Demogorgon ;^ Rumour next, and Chance, 

And Tumult, and Confusion, all embroiled. 

And Discord, with a thousand various mouths. 

To whom Satan turning boldly, thus : Ye powers 
And spirits of this nethermost abyss. 
Chaos and ancient Night, I come no spy, 
With purpose to explore or to disturb 
The secrets of your realm ; but, by constraint 
Wandering this darksome desert, as my way 

' A gryphon . . . pursues the Aritnaspian. — Gryphons were fabulous animals, half eagle, half lion, and supposed to 
be the special guardians of gold mines ; while the Arimaspians were a people skilled and brave in possessing themselves of 
that sort of treasure. v 

2 Chaos. — The spirit supposed to have its home amidst the " unformed and void." 

' Night, eldest of tilings. — The command, " Let there be light," supposes darkness — night to be older than day, than 

Orcus and Hades. — Orcus is supposed to mean Pluto — Hades his dark home. 
' Demogorgon. — An infernal deity, believed to be of great power ; the most frightful effects were supposed to follow 
from the skilled use of his name. 

/■ sti- With head, hands, wings, or feet, pursues his way. 

And swims, or sinks, or wades, or creeps, or flics. 

Book II., linis 94g, 950. 

Book 11.-974.-1007.] 



Lies through your spacious empire up to Hght, 

Alone, and without guide, half lost, I seek 

What readiest path leads where your gloomy bounds 

Confine with heaven ; or, if some other place. 

From your dominion won, the ethereal King 

Possesses lately, thither to arrive 

I travel this profound ; direct my course ; 

Directed, no mean recompense it brings 

To your behoof, if I that region lost. 

All usurpation thence expelled, reduce 

To her original darkness, and your sway — 

Which is my present journey — and once more 

Erect the standard there of ancient Niijht. 

Yours be the advantage all, mine the revenge. 

Thus Satan : and him thus the Anarch old, 
With faltering speech and visage incomposed. 
Answered : I know thee, stranger, who thou art ; 
That mighty leading Angel, who of late 
Made head 'gainst heaven's Kmg, though overthrown. 
I saw and heard ; for such a numerous host 
Fled not in silence through the frighted deep. 
With ruin upon ruin, rout on rout, 
Confusion worse confounded ; and heaven-gates 
Poured out by millions her victorious bands. 
Pursuing. I upon my frontiers here 
Keep residence ; if all I can will serve 
That little which is left so to defend. 
Encroached on still through your intestine broils 
Weakening the sceptre of old Night. First Hell, 
Your dungeon, stretching far and wide beneath ; 
Now lately heaven and earth another world. 
Hung o'er my realm, linked in a golden chain, 
To that side heaven, from whence your legions tell. 
If that way be your walk, you have not far ; 



So much the nearer danger ; go, and speed ; 
Havoc, and spoil, and ruin, are my gain. 

He ceased ; and Satan stayed not to reply, 
But, glad that now his sea should find a shore, 
With fresh alacrity and force renewed. 
Springs upward, like a pyramid of fire, 
Into the wild expanse, and, through the shock 
Of fighting elements, on all sides round 
Environed, wins his way ; harder beset 
And more endangered, than when Argo passed 
Through Bosphorus, betwixt the justling rocks ; 
Or when Ulysses on the larboard shunned 
Charybdis, and by the other whirlpool steered. 
So he with difficulty and labour hard 
Moved on, with difficulty and labour he ; 
But he once passed, soon after, when man fell — 
Strange alteration ! — Sin and Death amain 
Following his track, such was the will of Heaven 
Paved after him a broad and beaten way 
Over the dark abyss, whose boiling gulf 
Tamely endured a bridge of wondrous length. 
From hell continued, reaching the utmost orb 
Of this frail world : by which the spirits perverse 
With easy intercourse pass to and fro 
To tempt or punish mortals, except whom 
God and good Angels guard by special grace. 
But now at last the sacred influence 
Of light appears, and from the walls of heaven 
Shoots far into the bosom of dim Night 
A glimmering dawn. Here Nature first begins 
Her farthest verge, and Chaos to retire, 
As from her outmost works, a broken foe, 
With tumult less, and with less hostile din. 
That Satan with less toil, and now with ease 

Book II. — 1042-1055.J 



Wafts on the calmer wave by dubious light, 
And, like a weather-beaten vessel, holds 
Gladly the port, though shrouds and tackle torn ; 
Or in the emptier waste, resembling air. 
Weighs his spread wings, at leisure to behold 
Far off the empyreal heaven, extended wide 
In circuit, undetermined square or round. 
With opal towers and battlements adorned 
Of living sapphire, once his native seat ; 
And fast by, hanging in a golden chain. 
This pendent world, in bigness as a star 
Of smallest magnitude, close by the moon. 
Thither, full Iraught with mischievous revenge, 
Accursed, and in a cursed hour, he hies. 


God, sitting on His throne, sees Satan flying towards this world, then newly created : shows him to the Son, who sat 
at His right hand ; foretells the success of Satan in perverting mankind ; clears His own justice and wisdom from 
all imputation, having created man free, and able enough to have withstood his tempter; yet declares His purpose 
of grace towards him, in regard he fell not of his own malice, as did Satan, but by him seduced. The Son of God 
renders praise to His Father for the manifestation of His gracious purpose towards man ; but God again declares 
that grace cannot be extended towards man without the satisfaction of Divine justice. Man hath offended the majesty 
of God by aspiring to Godhead, and, therefore, with all his progeny, devoted to death, must die, unless some one 
can be found sufficient to answer for his offence, and undergo his punishment. The Son of God freely offers 
Himself a ransom for man : The Father accepts Him, ordains His incarnation, pronounces His exaltation above 
all names in heaven and earth ; commands all the angels to adore Him. They obey, and by hymning to their 
harps in full quire, celebrate the Father and the Son. Meanwhile, Satan alights upon the bare convex of this 
world's outermost orb ; where wandering, he first finds a place, since called the Limbo of Vanity : what persons 
and things fly up thither : thence comes to the gate of heaven, described ascending by stairs, and the waters above 
the firmament that flow about it : his passage thence to the orb of the sun ; he finds there Uriel, the regent of 
that orb, but first changes himself into the shape of a meaner angel ; and, pretending a zealous desire to behold the 
new creation, and man, whom God had placed there, inquires of him the place of his habitation, and is directed : 
alights first on Mount Niphates. 

I TAIL, holy Light! offspring of Heaven first-born!' 
Or of the Eternal co-eternal beam, 
May I express thee unblamed ? since God is light, 
And never but in unapproached light 
Dwelt from eternity, dwelt then in thee, 
Briorht efBuence of briorht essence increate ! 
Or hear'st thou rather, pure ethereal stream, 
Whose fountain who shall tell ? Before the sun, 
Before the heavens thou wert, and at the voice 
Of God, as with a mantle, didst invest 
The rising world of waters dark and deep,. 
Won from the void and formless infinite. 
Thee I revisit now with bolder wing, 
Escaped the Stygian pool, though long detained 
In that obscure sojourn, while in my flight 
Through utter and through middle darkness borne, 
With other notes than to the Orphean lyre, 

Offspring of Heaven first-born. — The reader will remember that Milton was a blind bard while giving us the 
inspirations of " Paradise Lost." Literature has nothing more beautiful or affecting than the touching lament which 
here comes from the heart of the poet. 

I500K III.— 18-47.] 



I sung of Chaos and eternal Night; 
Taught by the heavenly muse to venture down 
The dark descent, and up to reascend, 
Though hard and rare ; — thee I revisit safe. 
And feel thy sovereign vital lamp ; but thou 
Revisit'st not these eyes, that roll in vain 
To find thy piercing ray, and find no dawn ; 
So thick a drop serene hath quenched their orbs, 
Or dim suffusion veiled. Yet not the more 
Cease I to wander where the Muses haunt. 
Clear spring, or shady grove, or sunny hill, 
Smit with the love of sacred song ; but chief 
Thee, Sion, and the flowery brooks beneath. 
That wash thy hallowed feet, and warbling flow, 
Nightly I visit: nor sometimes forget 
Those other two equalled with me in fate, 
So were I equalled with them in renown. 
Blind Thamyris, and blind Mseonides,' 
And Tiresias, and Phincus,' prophets old : 
Then feed on thoughts, that voluntary move 
Harmonious numbers ; as the wakeful bird 
Sings darkling, and in shadiest covert hid, 
Tunes her nocturnal note.^ Thus with the vear 
Seasons return ; but not to me returns 
Day, or the sweet approach of even or morn, 
Or sight of vernal bloom, or summer's rose. 
Or flocks, or herds, or human face divme ; 
But cloud instead, and ever-during dark 
Surrounds me, from the cheerful ways of men 
Cut off, and for the book of knowledge fair 

' Thamyris and blind Maonides. — Thamyris was a Thracian poet, mentioned by Homer. Maonides was a name 
given to Homer himself, from his father, Meon. 

^ Tiresias and Phineus. — The first a Theban, the second a King of Arcadia, both celebrated In antiquity as men who 
gave prophecies in verse when blind. 

Nocturnal note. — The nightingale. 



[Book III.— 48-81. 

Presented with a universal blank 

Of Nature's works, to me expunged and rased, 

And wisdom at one entrance quite shut out. 

So much the rather thou, celestial light, 

Shine inward, and the mind through all her powers 

Irradiate ; there plant eyes, all mist from thence 

Purge and disperse, that I may see and tell 

Of things invisible to mortal sight. 

Now had the Almighty Father from above, 
From the pure Empyrean where he sits 
High throned above all height, bent down his eye, 
His own works, and their works at once to view: 
About him all the sanctities of heaven 
Stood thick as stars, and from his sight received 
Beatitude past utterance ; on his right 
The radiant image of his glory sat, 
His only Son. On earth he first beheld 
Our two first parents, yet the only two 
Of mankind, in the happy garden placed. 
Reaping immortal fruits of joy and love. 
Uninterrupted joy, unrivalled love, 
In blissful solitude. He then surveyed 
Hell and the gulf between, and Satan there 
Coasting the wall of heaven on this side Night 
In the dun air sublime, and ready now 
To stoop with wearied wings, and willing feet, 
On the bare outside of this world, that seemed 
Firm land imbosomed, without firmament, 
Uncertain which, in ocean or in air. 
Him God beholding from his prospect high, 
Wherein past, present, future, he beholds. 
Thus to his only Son foreseeing spake : 

Only-begotten Son, seest thou what rage 
Transports our adversar}^ ? whom no bounds 

III.— 82- 115.] 


Prescribed, no bars of Hell, nor all the chains 

Heaped on him there, nor yet the main abyss 

Wide interrupt, can hold ; so bent he seems 

On desperate revenge, that shall redound 

Upon his own rebellious head. And now, 

Through all restraint broke loose, he wings his way 

Not far off heaven, in the precincts of light, 

Directly towards the new-created world. 

And man there placed, with purpose to essay 

If him by force he can destroy, or, worse. 

By some false guile pervert ; and shall pervert ; 

For man will hearken to his glozing lies. 

And easily transgress the sole command. 

Sole pledge of his obedience. So will fall 

He and his faithless progeny. Whose fault ? 

Whose but his own? Ingrate, he had of me 

All he could have. I made him just and right, 

Sufficient to have stood, though free to fall. 

Such I created all the ethereal powers 

And spirits, both them who stood, and them who failed ; 

Freely they stood who stood, and fell who fell. 

Not free, what proof could they have given sincere 

Of true allegiance, constant faith, or love. 

Where only what they needs must do appeared. 

Not what they would ? What praise could they receive 

What pleasure I from such obedience paid ? 

When will and reason — reason also is choice — 

Useless and vain, of freedom both despoiled, 

Made passive both, had served necessity. 

Not me ? They therefore, as to right belonged, 

So were created, nor can justly accuse 

Their maker, or their making, or their fate, 

As if predestination overruled 

Their will, disposed by absolute decree 



Or high foreknowledge. They themselves decreed 
Their own revolt, not I. If I foreknew, 
Foreknowledge had no Influence on their fault, 
Which had no less proved certain unforeknown. 
So without least impulse or shadow of fate, 
Or aught by me immutably foreseen, 
They trespass, authors to themselves in ail 
Both what they judge, and what they choose ; for so 
I formed them free : and free they must remain. 
Till they enthrall themselves ; I else must change 
Their nature, and revoke the high decree 
Unchangeable, eternal, which ordained 
Their freedom ; they themselves ordained their fall. 
The first sort by their own suggestion fell, 
Self-tempted, self-depraved : Man falls, deceived 
By the other first : Man therefore shall find grace, 
The other none. In mercy and justice both, 
Through heaven and earth, so shall my glor)^ excel ; 
But mercy first and last shall brightest shine. 

Thus while God spake, ambrosial fragrance filled 
All heaven, and in the blessed spirits elect 
Sense of new joy ineffable diffused. 
Beyond compare the Son of God was seen 
Most glorious : in him all his Father shone 
Substantially expressed ; and in his face 
Divine compassion visibly appeared. 
Love without end, and without measure grace, 
Which uttering, thus he to his Father spake : 

O Father, gracious was that word which closed 
Thy sovereign sentence, that man should find grace ; 
For which both heaven and earth shall high extol 
Thy praises, with the innumerable sound 
Of hymns and sacred songs, wherewith thy throne 
Encompassed shall resound thee ever blessed. 

III.-I50- 183.1 


For should Man finally be lost, should Man, 
Thy creature late so loved, thy youngest son, 
Fall circumvented thus by fraud, though joined 
With his own folly ? That be from thee far, 
That far be from thee. Father, who art judge 
Of all things made, and judgest only right. 
Or shall the Adversary thus obtain 
His end, and frustrate thine? Shall he fulfil 
His malice, and thy goodness bring to nought; 
Or proud return, though to his heavier doom. 
Yet with revenge accomplished, and to Hell 
Draw after him the whole race of mankind, 
By him corrupted ? Or wilt thou thyself 
Abolish thy creation, and unmake, 
For him, what for thy glory thou hast made ? 
So should thy goodness and thy greatness both 
Be questioned and blasphemed without defence. 

To whom the great Creator thus replied: 
O Son, in whom my soul hath chief delight, 
Son of my bosom. Son who art alone 
My word, my wisdom, and effectual might, 
All hast thou spoken as my thoughts are, all 
As my eternal purpose hath decreed. 
Man shall not quite be lost, but saved who will ; 
Yet not of will in him, but grace in me 
Freely vouchsafed. Once more I will renew 
His lapsed powers, though forfeit, and enthralled 
By sin to foul exorbitant desires ; 
Upheld by me, yet once more he shall stand 
On even ground against his mortal foe ; 
By me upheld, that he may know how frail 
His fallen condition is, and to me owe 
All his deliverance, and to none but me. 
Some I have chosen of peculiar grace, 



TBooK III.— 184-216. 

Elect above the rest ; so is my will : 

The rest shall hear me call, and oft be warned 

Their sinful state, and to appease betimes 

The incensed D^.ity, while offered grace 

Invites ; for I will clear their senses dark, 

What may suffice, and soften stony hearts 

To pray, repent, and bring obedience due. 

To prayer, repentance, and obedience due, 

Though but endeavoured with sincere intent, 

Mine ear shall not be slow, mine eye not shut. 

And I will place within them as a guide- 

My umpire. Conscience ; whom if they will hear. 

Light after light, well used, they shall attain, 

And to the end persisting, safe arrive. 

This my long sufferance, and my day of grace, 

They who neglect and scorn, shall never taste ; 

But hard be hardened, blind be blinded more. 

That they may stumble on, and deeper fall ; 

And none but such from mercy I exclude. 

But yet all is not done ; man disobeying, 

Disloyal, breaks his fealty, and sins 

Against the high supremacy of Heaven, 

Affecting Godhead, and, so losing all, 

To expiate his treason hath nought left. 

But to destruction sacred and devote,' 

He, with his whole posterity, must die. 

Die he or Justice must ; unless for him 

Some other able, and as willing, pay 

The rigid satisfaction, death for death. 

Say, heavenly Powers, where shall we find such love ? 

Which of ye will be mortal, to redeem 

Man's mortal crime, and just the unjust to save 

Dwells in all Heaven charity so dear? 

Sacred and devote — A phrase from the Roman law, denoting one justly exposed to death. 

Book III.— 217-248.] 



He asked, but all the heavenly quire stood mute, 
And silence was in Heaven. On man's behalf 
Patron or intercessor none appeared, 
Much less than durst upon his own head draw 
The deadly forfeiture, and ransom set. 
And now without redemption all mankind 
Must have been lost,' adjudged to Death and Hell 
By doom severe, had not the Son of God, 
In whom the fulness dwells of love divine, 
His dearest mediation thus renewed: 

Father, thy word is passed, man shall find grace; 
And shall grace not find means, that finds her way, 
The speediest of thy winged messengers, 
To visit all thy creatures, and to all 
Comes unprevented, unimplored, unsought ? 
Happy for Man, so coming ; he her aid 
Can never seek, once dead in sins, and lost ; 
Atonement for himself, or offering meet. 
Indebted and undone, hath none to bring. 
Behold me, then ; me for him, life for life 
I offer ; on me let thine anger fall ; 
Account me Man : I for his sake will leave 
Thy bosom, and this glory next to Thee 
Freely put off, and for him lastly die 
Well pleased ; on me let Death wreak all his rage ; 
Under his gloomy power I shall not long 
Lie vanquished. Thou hast given me to possess 
Life in myself for ever ; by thee I live, 
Though now to Death I yield, and am his due, 
All that of me can die. Yet, that debt paid. 
Thou wilt not leave me in the loathsome grave. 
His prey, nor suffer my unspotted soul 

' All mankind must have been lost. — This assumes that the human race must have been perpetuated notwithstanding 
the entrance of sin. But was that necessary ? Was it probable ? 



EOOK III.— 249 282. 

For ever with corruption there to dwell : 

But I shall rise victorious, and subdue 

My vanquisher, spoiled of his vaunted spoil ; 

Death his death's wound shall then receive, and stoop 

Inglorious, of his mortal sting disarmed. 

I, through the ample air, in triumph high 

Shall lead Hell captive, maugre Hell, and show 

The powers of darkness bound. Thou, at the sight 

Pleased, out of Heaven shalt look down, and smile, 

While, by thee raised, I ruin all my foes, 

Death last, and with his carcass glut the grave ; 

Then, with the multitude of my redeemed, 

Shall enter heaven, long absent, and return, 

Father, to see thy face, wherein no cloud 

Of anger shall remain, but peace assured 

And reconcilement ; wrath shall be no more 

Thenceforth, but in thy presence joy entire. 

His words here ended, but His meek aspect 
Silent, yet spake, and breathed immortal love 
To mortal men, above which only shone 
Filial obedience ; as a sacrifice 
Glad to be offered. He attends the will 
Of his great Father. Admiration seized 
All heaven, what this might mean, and whither tend 
Wondering ; but soon the Almighty thus replied : 

O Thou in heaven and earth the only peace 
Found out for mankind under wrath ! O Thou, 
My soul complacence ! — well thou knowest how dear 
To me are all my works, nor man the least. 
Though last created ; that for him I spare 
Thee from my bosom and right hand, to save, 
By losing thee awhile, the whole race lost. 
Thou, therefore, whom thou only canst redeem, 
Their nature also to thy nature join ; 



And be thyself Man among men on earth. 

Made flesh, when time shall be, of virgin seed, 

By wondrous birth ; be thou in Adam's room 

The head of all mankind, though Adam's son. 

As in him perish all men, so in thee, 

As from a second root, shall be restored 

As many as are restored, without thee none. 

His crime makes guilty all his sons. Thy merit, 

Imputed, shall absolve them who renounce 

Their own both righteous and unrighteous deeds, 

And live in thee transplanted, and from thee 

Receive new life. So Man, as is most just, 

Shall satisfy for man, be judged, and die, 

And dying rise, and rising with him, raise 

His brethren, ransomed with his own dear life. 

So heavenly love shall outdo hellish hate, 

Giving to death, and dying to redeem, 

So dearly to redeem, what hellish hate 

So easily destroyed, and still destroys 

In those who, when they may, accept not grace. 

Nor shalt thou, by descending to assume 

Man's nature, lessen or degrade thine own. 

Because thou hast, though throned in highest bliss 

Equal to God, and equally enjoying 

Godlike fruition, quitted all, to save 

A world from utter loss, and hast been found 

By merit more than birthright. Son of God, 

Found worthiest to be so, by being good, 

Far more than great or high ; because in thee 

Love hath abounded more than glory abounds, 

Therefore thy humiliation shall exalt 

With thee thy manhood also to this throne ; 

Here shalt thou sit incarnate, here shalt reign 

Both God and man. Son both of God and man. 



[Book ill.— 317-350. 

Anointed universal king ; all power 

I give thee ; reign for ever, and assume 

Thy merits ; under thee, as head supreme. 

Thrones, Princedoms, Powers, Dominions, I reduce : 

All knees to thee shall bow, of them that bide 

In heaven, or earth, or under earth in hell. 

When thou, attended gloriously from heaven, 

Shalt in the sky appear, and from thee send 

The summoning Archangels to proclaim 

Thy dread tribunal ; forthwith from all winds 

The living, and forthwith the cited dead 

Of all past ages, to the general doom 

Shall hasten ; such a peal shall rouse their sleep. 

Then, all thy saints assembled, thou shalt judge 

Bad men and Angels. They arraigned, shall sink 

Beneath thy sentence. Hell, her numbers full, 

Thenceforth shall be for ever shut. Meanwhile 

The world shall burn, and from her ashes spring 

New heaven and earth, wherem the just shall dwell, 

And, after all their tribulations long, 

See golden days, fruitful of golden deeds, 

With joy and love triumphing, and fair truth. 

Then thou thy regal sceptre shalt lay by. 

For regal sceptre then no more shall need ; 

God shall be all in all. But, all ye gods, 

Adore Him, who to compass all this, dies; 

Adore the Son, and honour Him as Me. 

No sooner had the Almighty ceased, but all 
The multitude of angels, with a shout, 
Loud as from numbers without number, sweet 
As from blessed voices, uttering joy, heaven rung 
With jubilee, and loud hosannas filled 
The eternal regions. Lowly reverent 
Towards either throne they bow, and to- the ground, 

Book III., lines 347-349. 

Book III— 351-384.] 



With solemn adoration, down they cast 

Their crowns, inwove with amarant and gold ; — 

Immortal amarant, a flower which once 

In Paradise, fast by the tree of life. 

Began to bloom ; but soon for man's offence 

To heaven removed, where first it grew, there grows, 

And flowers aloft, shading the fount of life. 

But where the River of Bliss throuofh midst of Heaven 

Rolls o'er Elysian flowers her amber stream ; 

With these, that never fade, the spirits elect 

Bind their resplendent locks, inwreathed with beams. 

Now in loose garlands thick thrown ofl", the bright 

Pavement, that like a sea of jasper shone, 

Irnpurpled with celestial roses, smiled. 

Then, crowned again, their golden harps they took, 

Harps ever tuned, that glittering by their side 

Like quivers hung, and with preamble sweet 

Of charming symphony they introduce 

Their sacred song, and waken raptures high : 

No voice exempt, no voice but well could join 

Melodious part, such concord is in heaven. 

Thee, Father, first they sung, Omnipotent, 
Immutable, Immortal, Infinite, 
Eternal King ; thee. Author of all being, 
Fountain of light, thyself invisible 
Amidst the glorious brightness, where thou sittest 
Throned inaccessible, but when thou shadest 
The full blaze of thy beams, and, through a cloud 
Drawn round about thee, like a. radiant shrine, 
Dark with excessive bright thy skirts appear, 
Yet dazzle heaven, that brightest seraphim 
Approach not, but with both wings veil their eyes. 
Thee, next they sang, of all creation first. 
Begotten Son, Divine Similitude, 


In whose conspicuous countenance, without cloud 
Made visible, the Almighty Father shines, 
Whom else no creature can behold : on thee 
Impressed the effulgence of his glory abides, 
Transfused on thee his ample Spirit rests. 
He heaven of heavens, and all the powers therein 
By thee created ; and by thee threw down 
The aspiring dominations : thou that day 
Thy Father's dreadful thunder didst not spare, 
Nor stop thy flaming chariot-wheels, that shook 
Heaven's everlasting frame, while o'er the necks 
Thou drovest of warring angels disarrayed. 
Back from pursuit thy powers with loud acclaim 
Thee only extolled. Son of thy Father's might, 
To execute fierce venjreance on his foes. 
Not so on Man : him, through their malice fallen 
Father of mercy and grace, thou didst not doom 
So strictly, but much more to pity incline, 
No sooner did thy dear and only Son 
Perceive thee purposed not to doom frail man 
So strictly, but much more to pity inclined. 
He, to appease thy wrath, and end the strife 
Of mercy and justice in thy face discerned. 
Regardless of the bliss wherein he sat 
Second to thee, offered Himself to die 
For man's offence. Oh, unexampled love ! 
Love nowhere to be found less than Divine ! 
Hail, Son of God, Saviour of men ! Thy name 
Shall be the copious matter of my song 
Henceforth, and never shall my heart thy praise 
Forget, nor from thy Father's praise disjoin. 

Thus they in heaven, above the starry sphere 
Their happy hours in joy and hymning spent. 
Meanwhile upon the firm opacous globe 

Book III.— 419 450.] 


73 * 

Of this round World, whose first convex divides 

The luminous inferior orbs, enclosed 

From Chaos, and the inroad of Darkness old, 

Satan alighted walks. A globe far off 

It seemed, now seems a boundless continent, 

Dark, waste, and wild, under the frown of Night 

Starless, exposed, and ever-threatening storms 

Of Chaos blustering round, inclement sky ; 

Save on that side which, from the wall of heaven, 

Though distant far, some small reflection gains 

Of glimmering air less vexed with tempest loud. 

Here walked the Fiend at large in spacious field. 

As when a vulture, on Imaiis' bred, 

Whose snowy ridge the roving Tartar bounds, 

Dislodging Irom a region scarce of prey, 

To gorge the flesh of lambs or yearling kids, 

On hills where flocks are fed, flies toward the springs 

Of Ganges or Hydaspes, Indian streams; 

But in his way lights on the barren plains 

Of Sericana, where Chineses drive 

With sails and wind their cany wagons^ light : 

So, on this windy sea of land, the Fiend 

Walked up and down alone, bent on his prey ; 

Alone, for other creature in this place. 

Living or lifeless, to be found was none ; 

None yet, but store hereafter from the earth 

Up hither, like aerial vapours, flew 

Of all things transitory and vain, when sin 

With vanity had filled the works of men ; 

Both all things vain, and all who in vain things 

Built their fond hopes of glory or lasting fame, 

Or happiness in this or the other life. 

' Itnaits. — The snow-crowned Himalaya mountains. ' Cany wagons. — Light vehicles, constructed of bambo«. 


71 PARADISE LOST. [Book 111.-451-479. 

All who have their reward on earth, the fruits 

Of painful superstition and blind zeal, 

Nought seeking but the praise of men, here find 

Fit retribution, empty as their deeds ; 

All the unaccomplished works of Nature's hand, 

Abortive, monstrous, or unkindly mixed. 

Dissolved on earth, flee thither, and in vain, 

Till final dissolution, wander here ; 

Not in the neighbouring moon, as some have dreamed; 

Those argent fields more likely habitants. 

Translated saints, or middle spirits, hold, 

Betwixt the angelical and human-kind.' 

Hither of ill-joined sons and daughters born 

First from the ancient world those giants came, 

With many a vain exploit, though then renowned ; 

The builders next of Babel on the plain 

Of Sennaar,^ and still with vain design 

New Babels, had they wherevathal, would build : 

Others came single ; he, who to be deemed 

A god, leaped fondly into ^tna flames, 

Empedocles ;^ and he who, to enjoy 

Plato's Elysium, leaped into the sea, 

Cleombrotus ]^ and many more too long,^ 

Embryos, and idiots, eremites, and friars 

White, black, and gray, with all their trumpery. 

Here pilgrims roam, that strayed so far to seek 

In Golgotha Him dead who lives in Heaven ; 

And they, who, to be sure of Paradise, 

Dying put on the weeds of Dominic, 

* Betwixt the angelical and humankind. — See Gen. vi. 4. 
' Sennaar. — Shinar, in Babylonia. 

' Empedocles. — A scholar of Pythagoras, who cast himself into Etna, in hope that his mysterious disappearance 
would lead to his being worshipped as a god. But Etna threw back the iron pattens he wore, and the end was ridicule, 
not worship. (Horace, De Art. Poet., v. 464.) 

* Cleombrotus. — A Greek youth, so enamoured with Plato's doctrine of immortality, that he drowned himself in hope 
of realising it. 

* Many more too long.— Too long to tell. Some suppose a line to be wanting here. 

74- And many more too long, 

Embryos, and idiots, eremites, and friars. 

Book III., lines 473, 474. 



Or in Franciscan think to pass disguised ; 

They pass the planets seven, and pass the fixed, 

And that crystalhne sphere whose balance weighs 

The trepidation talked, and that first moved ; 

And now Saint Peter at Heaven's wicket seems 

To wait them with his keys, and now at foot 

Of Heaven's ascent they lift their feet, when, lo ! 

A violent cross-wind from either coast 

Blows them transverse, ten thousand leagues awry 

Into the devious air ; then might ye see 

Cowls, hoods, and habits, with their wearers, tossed 

And fluttered into rags ; then relics, beads, 

Indulgences, dispenses, pardons, bulls. 

The sport of winds : all these, upwhirled aloft, 

Fly o'er the backside of the world far off. 

Into a Limbo large and broad, since called 

The Paradise of Fools, to few unknown 

Long after, now unpeopled, and untrod. 

All this dark globe the Fiend found as he pass 
And long he wandered, till at last a gleam 
Of dawnino- lio-ht turned thitherward in haste 
His travelled steps. Far distant he descries, 
Ascending by degrees magnificent 
Up to the wall of heaven, a structure high ; 
At top whereof, but far more rich, appeared 
The work as of a kingly palace-gate, 
With frontispiece of diamond and gold 
Embellished ; thick with sparkling orient gems 
The portal shone, inimitable on earth 
By model, or by shading pencil drawn. 
The stairs were such as whereon Jacob saw 
Angels ascending and descending, bands 
Of guardians bright, when he from Esau fled 
To Padan-Aram, in the field of Luz, 

76 PARADISE LOST. [Book III.-514-547. 

Dreaming by night under the open sky, 

And wakino^ cried, " This is the gate of Heaven." 

Each stair mysteriously was meant, nor stood 

There always, but drawn up to Heaven sometimes 

Viewless ; and underneath a bright sea flowed 

Of jasper, or of liquid pearl, whereon 

Who after came from earth, sailing arrived, 

Wafted by Angels, or flew o'er the lake 

Wrapped in a chariot drawn by fiery steeds. 

The stairs were then let down, whether to dare 

The Fiend by easy ascent, or aggravate 

His sad exclusion from the doors of bliss: 

Direct against which opened from beneath. 

Just o'er the blissful seat of Paradise, 

A passage down to the earth, a passage wide, 

Wider by far than that of after-times 

Over Mount Sion, and, though that were large, 

Over the Promised Land, to God so dear ; 

By which, to visit oft those happy tribes, 

On high behests his angels to and fro 

Pass frequent, and his eye with choice regard 

From Paneas, the fount of Jordan's flood, 

To Beersaba, where the Holy Land 

Borders on Egypt and the Arabian shore ; 

So wide the opening seemed, where bounds were set 

To darkness, such as bound the ocean wave. 

Satan from hence, now on the lower stair, 
That scaled by steps of gold to Heaven-gate, 
Looks down with wonder at the sudden view 
Of all this world at once. As when a scout. 
Through dark and desert ways with peril gone 
All night, at last by break of cheerful dawn 
Obtains the brow of some hiijh-climbinor hill, 
Which to his e3^e discovers unaware 

Book III.~548-578.1 



The goodly prospect of some foreign land 

First seen, or some renowned metropolis, 

With glistering spires and pinnacles adorned, 

Which now the rising sun gilds with his beams ; 

Such wonder seized, though after heaven seen, 

The spirit malign, but much more envy seized, 

At sight of all this world beheld so fair. 

Round he surveys — and well might, where he stood 

So high above the circling canopy 

Of night's extended shade — from eastern point 

Of Libra to the fleecy star that bears 

Andromeda' far off Atlantic seas, 

Beyond the horizon ; then from pole to pole 

He views in breadth, and without longer pause 

Down uQ-ht into the world's first remon throws 

His flight precipitant, and winds with ease 

Through the pure marble air^ his oblique way 

Amongst innumerable stars, that shone 

Stars distant, but nigh hand seemed other worlds ; 

Or other worlds they seemed, or happy isles, 

Like those Hesperian gardens famed of old. 

Fortunate fields, and groves, and flowery vales. 

Thrice-happy isles ; but who dwelt happy there 

He stayed not to inquire. Above them all 

The golden sun, in splendour likest heaven. 

Allured his eye ; thither his course he bends 

Through the calm firmament, — but up or down. 

By centre or eccentric, hard to tell. 

Or longitude, — where the great luminary 

Aloof the vulgar constellations thick. 

That from his lordly eye keep distance due. 

• Andromeda. — One of the six signs of the zodiac, which are supposed for the first time to hold out their lamps 
celestial to the gaze of the fiend. 

The pure marble air. — Marble is a word from the Greek fiap/iaipui, and signifies to shine or glisten. The word is 
used by Milton, not as denoting hardness, but brightness and clearness. 



[Book III.— 579 610. 

Dispenses light from far : they, as they move 

Their starry dance in numbers that compute 

Days, months, and years, towards his all-cheering lamp 

Turn swift their various motions, or are turned 

By his magnetic beam, that gently warms 

The universe, and to each inward part 

With gentle penetration, though unseen. 

Shoots invisible virtue even to the deep ; 

So wondrously was set his station bright. 

There lands the Fiend, a spot like which perhaps 
Astronomer in the sun's lucent orb 
Through his glazed optic tube yet never saw. 
The place he found beyond expression bright. 
Compared with aught on earth, metal or stone ; 
Not all parts like, but all alike informed 
With radiant light, as glowing iron with fire ; 
If metal, part seemed gold, part silver clear: 
If stone, carbuncle most or chrysolite. 
Ruby or topaz, or the twelve that shone 
In Aaron's breastplate, and a stone besides 
Imagined rather oft than elsewhere seen. 
That stone, or like to that, which here below 
Philosophers in vain so long have sought. 
In vain, though by their powerful art they bind 
Volatile Hermes,' and call up unbound 
In various shapes old Proteus'' from the sea, 
Drained through a limbec to his native form. 
What wonder then if fields and regions here 
Breathe forth elixir pure, and rivers run 
Potable gold, when with one virtuous touch 
The arch-chymic sun, so far from us remote, 
Produces, with terrestrial humour maxed, 

* Volatile Hermes. — i.e., can make mercury or quicksilver do their will. 

' Old Proteus. — A person who baffles his pursuers by assuming all shapes, but who is said to have been fixed in his 
true shape at last. So chemistry passes through changing phenomena to fixedness and ccjtainty. 





Here in the dark so many precious things 

Of colour glorious, and effect so rare ? 

Here matter new to o-aze the Devil met 

Undazzled. Far and wide his eye commands ; 

For sight no obstacle found here, nor shade, 

But all sunshine, as when his beams at noon 

Culminate from the equator, as they now 

Shot upward still direct, whence no way round 

Shadow from body opaque can fall • and the air, 

Nowhere so clear, sharpened his visual ray 

To objects distant far, whereby he soon 

Saw within ken a glorious angel stand, 

The same whom John saw also in the sun. 

His back was turned, but not his brightness hid; 

Of beaming sunny rays a golden tiar 

Circled his head, nor less his locks behind 

Illustrious on his shoulders, fledge with wings, 

Lay waving i-ound. On some great charge employed 

Fie seemed, or fixed in cogitation deep. 

Glad was the spirit impure, as now in hope 
To find who might direct his wandering flight 
To Paradise, the happy seat of Man, 
His journey's end, and our beginning woe. 
But first he casts' to change his proper shape, 
Which else might work him danger or delay. 
And now a stripling cherub he appears. 
Not of the prime, yet such as in his face 
Youth smiled celestial, and to every limb 
Suitable grace diffused, so well he feigned. 
Under a coronet his flowing hair 
In curls on either cheek played ; wings he wore. 
Of many a coloured plume, sprinkled with gold; 
His habit fit for speed succinct, and held 

' He raj/J.— Considers — forecasts. 



(Book III.— 644 676 

Before his decent steps a silver wand. 

He drew not nigh unheard; the angel bright, 

Ere he drew nigh, his radiant visage turned, 

Admonished by his ear, and straight was known 

The Archangel Uriel, one of the seven 

Who in God's presence, nearest to his throne, 

Stand ready at command, and are his eyes 

That run through all the Heavens, or down to the Earth 

Bear his swift errands over moist and dry. 

O'er sea and land : him Satan thus accosts : 

Uriel, for thou of those seven spirits that stand 
In sight of God's high throne, gloriously bright, 
The first art wont his great authentic will 
Interpreter through highest heaven to bring. 
Where all his sons thy embassy attend ; 
And here art likeliest by supreme decree 
Like honour to obtain, and as his eye* 
To visit oft this new creation round ; 
Unspeakable desire to see, and know 
All these his wondrous works, but chiefly Man, 
His chief delight and favour, him for whom 
All these his works so wondrous he ordained. 
Hath brought me from the quires of cherubim 
Alone thus wandering. Brightest seraph, tell 
In which of all these shininor orbs hath Man 
His fixed seat, or fixed seat hath none. 
But all these shining orbs his choice to dwell ; 
That I may find him, and with secret gaze, 
Or open admiration, him behold. 
On whom the great Creator hath bestowed 
Worlds, and on whom hath all these graces poured ; ' 
That both in him and all things, as is meet. 
The universal Maker we may praise. 

As his eye. — As being his eye. 

III. — 677-710.] 


Who justly hath driven out his rebel foes 
To deepest Hell, and, to repair that loss, 
Created this new happy race of men 
To serve him better : wise are all his ways. 

So spake the false dissembler unperceived ; 
For neither man nor angel can discern 
Hypocrisy, the only evil that walks 
Invisible, except to God alone, 
By his permissive will, through heaven and earth. 
And oft, though wisdom .wake, suspicion sleeps 
At wisdom's gate, and to simplicity 
Resigns her charge, while goodness thinks no ill 
Where no ill seems : which now for once beguiled 
Uriel, though regent of the sun, and held 
The sharpest-sighted spirit of all in Heaven ; 
Who to the fraudulent impostor foul, 
In his uprightness, answer thus returned: 

Fair angel, thy desire, which tends to know 
The works of God, thereby to glorify 
The great Work- Master, leads to no excess 
That reaches blame, but rather merits praise 
The more it seems excess, that led thee hither 
From thy empyreal mansion thus alone, 
To witness with thine eyes what some perhaps, 
Contented with report, hear only in heaven : 
For wonderful indeed are all His works, 
Pleasant to know, and worthiest to be all 
Had in remembrance always with delight: 
But what created mind can comprehend 
Their number, or the wisdom infinite 
That brought them forth, but hid their causes deep. 
I saw, when at His word the formless mass. 
This world's material mould, came to a heap : 
Contusion heard His voice and wild uproar 



[Book 111.-711-742 

Stood ruled, stood vast infinitude confined ; 
Till at his second bidding darkness fled, 
Light shone, and order fi-om disorder sprung. 
Swift to their several quarters hasted then 
The cumbrous elements, earth, flood, air, fire; 
And this ethereal quintessence of heaven 
Flew upward, spirited with various forms, 
That rolled orbicular, and turned to stars 
Numberless, as .thou seest, and how they move. 
Each had his place appointed, each his course ; 
The rest in circuit walls this universe. 
Look downward on that globe, whose hither side 
With light from hence, though but reflected, shines ; 
That place is Earth, the seat of Man ; that light 
His day, which else, as the other hemisphere. 
Night would invade ; but there the neighbouring moon- 
So call that opposite fair star — her aid 
Timely interposes, and her monthly round 
Still ending, still renewing, through mid heaven, 
With borrowed light her countenance triform 
Hence fills and empties to enlighten the earth, 
And in her pale dominion checks the night. 
That spot to which I point is Paradise, 
Adam's abode ; those lofty shades, his bower. 
Thy way thou canst not miss, me mine requires. 

Thus said, he turned ; and Satan, bowing low, 
As to superior spirits is wont in heaven, 
Where honour due and reverence none neglects, 
Took leave, and towards the coast of Earth beneath, 
Down from the ecliptic, sped with hoped success, 
Throws his steep flight in many an aery wheel. 
Nor stayed, till on Niphates' top he lights.' 

' On Niphates' tcp he lights. — A mountain in Armenia, near which Milton places Paradi?€. 

/. 82. 


Satan, now in prospect of Eden, and nigh the place where he must now attempt the bold enterprise which he undertook 
alone against God and man, falls into many doubts with himself, and many passions, fear, envy, and despair ; but 
at length confirms himself in evil, journeys on to Paradise, whose outward prospect and situation is described ; over- 
leaps the bounds ; sits in the shape of a cormorant on the tree of life, as the highest in the garden, to look about 
him. The garden described ; Satan's first sight of Adam and Eve ; his wonder at their excellent form and happy 
state, but with resolution to work their fall ; overhears their discourse, thence gathers that the tree of knowledge was 
forbidden them to eat of, under penalty of death ; and thereon intends to found his temptation, by seducing them to 
ransgress ; then leaves them awhile to know farther of their state by some other means. Meanwhile, Uriel, descending 
on a sunbeam, warns Gabriel, who had in charge the gate of Paradise, that some evil spirit had escaped the deep, 
and passed at noon by his sphere, in the shape of a good angel, down to Paradise, discovered after by his furious 
gestures in the mount. Gabriel promises to find him ere morning. Night coming on, Adam and Eve discourse of 
going to their rest : their bower described ; their evening worship. Gabriel, drawing forth his bands of night-watch 
to walk the rounds of Paradise, appoints two strong angels to Adam's bower, lest the evil spirit should be there doing 
some harm to Adam or Eve sleeping ; there they find him at the ear of Eve, tempting her in a dream, and bring 
him, though unwilling, to Gabriel ; by whom questioned, he scornfully answers ; prepares resistance ; but, hindered 
by a sign from heaven, flies out of Paradise. 

OH, for that warning voice, which he, who saw 
The Apocalypse, heard cry in heaven aloud, 
Then when the Dragon, put to second rout. 
Came furious down to be revenged on men, 
" Woe to the inhabitants on earth !" that now. 
While time was, our first parents had been warned 
The coming of their secret foe, and 'scaped. 
Haply so 'scaped his mortal snare. For now 
Satan, now first inflamed with rage, came down, 
The tempter ere the accuser' of mankind, 
To wreak on innocent frail man his loss 
Of that first battle, and his flight to Hell. 
Yet not rejoicing in his speed, though bold 
Far off and fearless, nor with cause to boast. 
Begins his dire attempt ; which, nigh the birth 
Now rolling, boils in his tumultuous breast, 
And like a devilish engine back recoils 
Upon himself Horror and doubt distract 

' Accuser. — dio/3o\o£ — hence devil. 

PARADISE LOST. [Book IV.-19-S2. 

His troubled thoughts, and from the bottom stir 
The hell within him ; for within him hell 
He brings, and round about him, nor from hell 
One step, no more than from himself, can fly 
By change of place. Now conscience wakes despair 
That slumbered ; wakes the bitter memory 
Of what he was, what is, and what must be — 
Worse ; of worse deeds worse sufferings must ensue. 
Sometimes towards Eden, which now in his view 
Lay pleasant, his grieved look he fixes sad ; 
Sometimes towards heaven and the full-blazing sun, 
Which now sat high in his meridian tower ; 
Then, much revolving, thus in sighs began : 

O thou, that, with surpassing glory crowned, 
Look'st from thy sole dominion, like the God 
Of this new world ; at whose sight all the stars 
Hide their diminished heads ; to thee I call, 
But with no friendly voice, and add thy name, 

sun ! to tell thee how I hate thy beams. 
That bring to my remembrance from what state 

1 fell, how glorious once above thy sphere ; 
Till pride and worse ambition threw me down, 
Warring in heaven against heaven's matchless King: 
Ah, wherefore? He deserved no such return 
From me, whom he created what I was 

In that bright eminence, and with his good 
Upbraided none ; nor was his service hard. 
What could be less than to afford Him praise, 
The easiest recompense, and pay Him thanks ? 
How due ! Yet all his good proved ill in me. 
And wrought but malice. Lifted up so high 
I 'sdained subjection, and thought one step higher 
Would set me highest, and in a moment quit . 
The debt immense of endless gratitude, 

Me miserable ! which way shall I fly 
Infinite wrath, and infinite despair? 

Book IV., lines 73, 



So burdensome ; still paying, still to owe ; 

Forgetful what from Him I still received, 

And understood not that a grateful mind 

By owing owes not, but still pays, at once 

Indebted and discharged; what burden then? 

Oh, had his powerful destiny ordained 

Me some inferior Angel, I had stood 

Then happy ; no unbounded hope had raised 

Ambition. Yet why not ? some other Power 

As great might have aspired, and me, though mean, 

Drawn to his part. But other powers as great 

Fell not, but stand unshaken, from within 

Or from without, to all temptations armed. 

Hadst thou the same free will and power to stand ? 

Thou hadst : whom hast thou then or what to accuse. 

But Heaven's free love dealt equally to all ? 

Be then his love accursed, since love or hate 

To me alike it deals eternal woe. 

Nay, cursed be thou ; since against His thy will 

Chose freely what it now so justly rues. 

Me miserable ! which way shall I fly 

Infinite wrath, and infinite despair? 

Which way I fly is Hell ; myself am Hell ; 

And, in the lowest deep, a lower deep 

Still threatening to devour me opens wide. 

To which the hell I suffer seems a heaven. 

Oh, then, at last relent. Is there no place 

Left for repentance, none for pardon left ? 

None left but by submission ; and that word 

Disdain forbids me, and my dread of shame 

Among the spirits beneath, whom I seduced 

With other promises and other vaunts 

Than to submit, boasting I could subdue 

The Omnipotent. Ah me ! they little know 



[Book IV.— 87-120 

How dearly I abide that boast so vain, 

Under what torments inwardly I groan. 

While they adore me on the throne of hell, 

With diadem and sceptre high advanced, 

The lower still I fall, only supreme 

In misery : such joy ambition finds. 

But say I could repent, and could obtain, 

By act of grace, my former state ; how soon 

Would height recall high thoughts, how soon unsay 

What feigned submission swore ! Ease would recant 

Vows made in pain, as violent and void : 

For never can true reconcilement grow 

Where wounds of deadly hate have pierced so deep : 

Which would but lead me to a worse relapse, 

And heavier fall : so should I purchase dear 

Short intermission, bought with double smart. 

This knows my Punisher ; therefore as far 

From granting He, as I from begging, peace : 

All hope excluded thus, behold, instead 

Of us, outcast, exiled, his new delight, 

Mankind, created, and for him this world. 

So farewell hope ; and with hope farewell fear ; 

Farewell remorse: all good to me is lost. 

Evil, be thou my good : by thee at least 

Divided empire with heaven's king I hold, 

By thee, and more than half perhaps will reign. 

As man ere long, and this new world shall know. 

Thus while he spake, each passion dimmed his face. 
Thrice changed with pale, ire, envy, and despair ; 
Which marred his borrowed visage, and betrayed 
Him counterfeit, if any eye beheld : 
For heavenly minds from such distempers foul 
Are ever clear. Whereof he soon aware. 
Each perturbation smoothed with outward calm. 

IV. — I2I-IS4-] 


Artificer of fi-aud ; and was the first 

That practised falsehood under saintly show, 

Deep malice to conceal, couched with revenge. 

Yet not enough had practised to deceive 

Uriel, once warned ; whose eye pursued him down 

The way he went, and on the Assyrian mount 

Saw hmi disfigured, more than could befall 

Spirit of happy sort : his gestures fierce 

He marked, and mad demeanour, then alone 

As he supposed, all unobserved, unseen. 

So on he fares, and to the border comes 

Of Eden, where delicious Paradise, 

Now nearer, crowns with her enclosure green, 

As with a rural mound, the champaign head 

Of a steep wilderness, whose hairy sides 

With thicket overgrown, grotesque and wild, 

Access denied ; and overhead up grew 

Insuperable height of loftiest shade. 

Cedar, and pme, and fir, and branching palm, 

A sylvan scene ; and, as the ranks ascend 

Shade above shade, a woody theatre 

Of stateliest view. Yet higher than their tops 

The verdurous wall of Paradise up-sprung; 

Which to our general sire gave prospect large 

Into his nether empire neighbouring round. 

And higher than that wall a circling row 

Of goodliest trees, loaden with fairest fruit, 

Blossoms and fruits at once, of golden hue. 

Appeared, with gay enamelled colours mixed ; 

On which the sun more glad impressed his beams. 

Than in fair evening cloud, or humid bow, 

When God hath showered the earth : so lovely seem 

That landscape ; and of pure now purer air 

Meets his approach, and to the heart inspires 



[Book IV. — 155-rni; 

Vernal delight and joy, able to drive 

All sadness but despair. Now gentle gales, 

Fanning their odoriferous wings, dispense 

Native perfumes, and whisper whence they stole 

Those balmy spoils. As when to them who sail 

Beyond the Cape of Hope, and now are past 

Mozambic, off at sea north-east winds blow 

Sabean odours from the spicy shore 

Of Araby the Blest ; with such delay 

Well pleased they slack their course, and many a league 

Cheered with the grateful smell, old Ocean smiles. 

So entertained those odorous sweets the Fiend, 

Who came their bane though with them better pleased 

Than Asmodeus with the fishy fume 

That drove him, though enamoured, from the spouse 

Of Tobit's son,^ and with a vengeance sent 

From Media post to Egypt, there fast bound. 

Now to the ascent of that steep savage hill 
Satan hath journeyed on, pensive and slow ; 
But further way found none, so thick entwined, 
As one continued brake, the undergrowth 
Of shrubs and tangling bushes had perplexed 
All path of man or beast that passed that way. 
One gate there only was, and that looked east 
On the other side, which when the arch-felon saw, 
Due entrance he disdained, and, in contempt, 
At one slight bound high overleaped all bound 
Of hill or highest wall, and sheer within 
Lights on his feet. As when a prowling wolf, 
Whom hunger drives to seek new haunt for prey, 
Watching where shepherds pen their flocks at eve 

* Who came their bane. — These odours floating from the spice islands, far upon the evening or morning breeze, were 
known to the ancients, and are better known to the moderns. 

' 0/ Tobifs son. — Objection is justly taken to this use of the Apocrypha . legend. It degrades, in place of adorning 
the subject. 

88. . Now to the ascent of that steep savage hill 

Satan hath journey'd on, pensive and slow. 

Book IV., lines 172, 173. 

IV.— 186-219.] 


In hurdled cotes amid the field secure, 

Leaps o'er the fence with ease into the fold : 

Or as a thief bent to unhoard the cash 

Of some rich burgher, whose substantial doors. 

Cross-barred and bolted fast, fear no assault, 

In at the window climbs, or o'er the tiles : 

So clomb this first grand thief into God's fold ; 

So since into his church lewd hirelings climb. 

Thence up he flew, and on the tree of life, 

The middle tree and highest there that grew, 

Sat like a cormorant ; yet not true life 

Thereby regained, but sat devising death 

To them who lived ; nor on the virtue thoucfht 

Of that life-giving plant, but only used 

For prospect, what, well used, had been the pledge 

Of immortalit}^^. So little knows 

Any, but God alone, to value right 

The good before him, but perverts best things 

To worst abuse, or to their meanest use. 

Beneath him with new wonder now he views, 
To all delight of human sense exposed. 
In narrow room, nature's whole wealth, yea more, 
A heaven on earth : for blissful Paradise 
Of God the garden was, by him in the east 
Of Eden planted. Eden stretched her line 
From Auran eastward to the royal towers 
Of great Seleucia, built by Grecian kings ; 
Or where the sons of Eden longf before 
Dwelt in Telassar. In this pleasant soil 
His far more pleasant garden God ordained. 
Out of the fertile fjround he caused to g^row 
All trees of noblest kind for sight, smell, taste; 
And all amid them stood the tree of life, 
High eminent, bloomiing ambrosial fruit 


fBooit IV.- 

Of vegetable gold ; and next to life, 

Our death, the Tree of Knowledge, grew fast by, 

Knowledge of good, bought dear by knowing ill. 

Southward through Eden went a river large, 

Nor changed his course, but through the shaggy hill 

Passed underneath ingulfed ; for God had thrown 

That mountain as his garden mould, high raised 

Upon the rapid current, which through veins 

Of porous earth with kindly thirst up-drawn. 

Rose a fresh fountain, and with many a rill 

Watered the garden ; thence united fell 

Down the steep glade, and met the nether flood, 

Which from his darksome passage now appears ; 

And now, divided into four main streams, 

Runs diverse, wandering many a famous realm 

And country, whereof here needs no account ; 

But rather to tell how, if art could tell, 

How from that sapphire fount the crisped brooks, 

Rolling on orient pearl and sands of gold, 

With mazy error under pendent shades 

Ran nectar, visiting each plant, and fed 

Flowers worthy of Paradise, which not nice art 

In beds and curious knots, but nature boon 

Poured forth profuse on hill, and dale, and plain. 

Both where the morning sun first warmly smote 

The open field, and where the unpierced shade 

Imbrowned the noontide bowers. Thus was this place 

A happy rural seat of various view ; 

Groves whose rich trees wept odorous gums and balm ; 

Others whose fruit, burnished with golden rind, 

Hung amiable,' Hesperian fables true. 

If true, here only, and of delicious taste. 

Amiable. — Lovely, so as to call forth affection, desire 

U'/ ! 

/. go. 

A happy rural seat of various view. 

fiiio/: / y., line 247 

BOOK IV.-252-280.] PARADISE LOST. 9 1 

Betwixt them lawns, or level downs, and flocks 

Grazing the tender herb, were interposed ; 

Or palmy hillock, or the flowery lap 

Of some irriguous valley spread her store, 

Flowers of all hue, and without thorn the rose. 

Another side, umbrageous grots and caves 

Of cool recess, o'er which the mantling vine 

Lays forth her purple grape, and gently creeps 

Luxuriant. Meanwhile murmuring waters fall 

Down the slope hills, dispersed, or in a lake. 

That to the fringed bank with myrtle crowned 

Her crystal mirror holds, unite their streams. 

The . birds their quire apply ; airs, vernal airs. 

Breathing the smell of field and grove, attune 

The trembling leaves, while universal Pan,' 

Knit with the Graces and the Hours^ in dance. 

Led on the Eternal Spring. Not that fair field 

Of Enna, where Pros^rpine^ gathering flowers, 

Herself a fairer flower, by gloomy Dis"^ 

Was gathered, which cost Ceres all that pain 

To seek her through the world ; nor that sweet grove 

Of Daphne by Orontes, and the inspired 

Castilian spring, might with this Paradise 

Of Eden strive ; nor that Nyseian isle^ 

Girt with the river Triton, where old Cham, 

Whom Gentiles Ammon call and Lybian Jove, 

Hid Amalthea, and her florid son. 

Young Bacchus from his stepdame Rhea's eye : 

Nor where Abassin kings ^ their issue guard, 

• Universal Pan. — liar, all. The symbol with the ancients of all nature— the universe. 

^ The Graces and the Hours. — Female divinities, accepted as emblems of the beauty, joy, and harmony of the season s, 
especially of the spring. 

' Proserpine has the accent here on the second syllable, as in the Latin. 

* Gloomy Dis. — Pluto. 

' Nyseian isle. — Enna, the grave of Daphne, and the Nyseian isle, were aii places celebrated for their beauty b\ 
the Greek and Roman poets. 

' Abassin kings. — Abyssinian. 

92 PARADISE LOST. TBook IV.-281 -312 

Mount Amara,' though this by some supposed 

True Paradise, under the Ethiop Kne 

By Nilus's head, enclosed with shining rock, 

A whole day's journey high, but wide remote 

From this Assyrian garden, where the Fiend 

Saw, undelighted, all delight, all kind 

Of living creatures, new to sight and strange. . 

Two of far nobler shape, erect and tall, 
Godlike erect, with native honour clad, 
In naked majesty seemed lords of all, 
And worthy seemed : for in their looks divine 
The image of their glorious Maker shone, 
Truth, wisdom, sanctitude severe and pure. 
Severe, but in true filial freedom placed. 
Whence true authority in men ; though both 
Not equal, as their sex not equal seemed ; 
For contemplation he, and valour formed ; 
For softness she, and sweet attractive grace ; 
He for God only, she for God in him. 
His fair large front and eye sublime declared 
Absolute rule ; and hyacinthine locks 
Round from his parted forelock manly hung 
Clustering, but not beneath his shoulders broad. 
She, as a veil, down to the slender waist 
Her unadorned golden tresses wore 
Dishevelled, but in wanton ringlets waved. 
As the vine curls her tendrils, which implied 
Subjection, but required with gentle sway. 
And by her yielded, by him best received. 
Yielded with coy submission, modest pride. 
And sweet, reluctant, amorous delay. 
Nor those mysterious parts were then concealed, 

' Mount Amara. — A mountain seclusion, to which some of the later emperors sent their vounser sons for education. 

p 92. The savoury pulp they chew, and in the rind, 

Still as they thirsted, scoop the brimming stream. 

Book IV., Hues 335, 336. 

Book IV. — 313-146.] 



Then was not guilty shame. Dishonest shame 
Of nature's works, honour dishonourable, 
Sin-bred, how have ye troubled all mankind 
With shows instead, mere shows of seeming pure, 
And banished from man's life his happiest life, 
Simplicity and spotless innocence ! 
So passed they naked on, nor shunned the sight 
Of God or angel ; for they thought no ill : 
So hand in hand they passed, the loveliest pair 
That ever since in love's embraces met ; 
Adam the goodliest Man of Men since born 
His sons, the fairest of her daughters Eve. 

Under a tuft of shade that on a green 
Stood whispering soft, by a fresh fountain side 
They sat them down ; and, after no more toil 
Of their sweet g^ardenino- labour than sufficed 
To recommend cool zephyr, and made ease 
More easy, wholesome thirst and appetite 
More grateful, to their supper-fruits they fell, 
Nectarine fruits, which the compliant boughs 
Yielded them, sidelong as they sat reclined 
On the soft downy bank damasked with flowers : 
The savoury pulp they chew, and in the rind. 
Still as they thirsted, scoop the brimming stream ; 
Nor gentle purpose, nor endearing smiles. 
Wanted, nor youthful dalliance, as beseems 
Fair couple, linked in happy nuptial league. 
Alone as they. About them frisking played 
All beasts of the earth, since wild, and of all chase 
In wood or wilderness, forest or den ; 
Sporting the lion ramped, and in his paw 
Dandled the kid ; bears, tigers, ounces, pards. 
Gambolled before them ; the unwieldly elephant, 
To make them mirth, used all his might, and Vv^reathed 

PARADISE LOST. IBook IV.-347-38a 

His lithe proboscis ; close the serpent sly, 
Insinuating, wove with Gordian twine 
His braided train, and of his fatal guile 
Gave proof unheeded ; others on the grass 
Couched, and, now filled with pasture, gazing sat, 
Or bedward ruminating ; for the sun. 
Declined, was hasting now with prone career 
To the ocean isles, and in the ascending scale 
Of heaven the stars that usher evening rose ; 
When Satan, still in gaze, as first he stood. 
Scarce thus at length failed speech recovered sad : — 
O Hell ! what do mine eyes with grief behold ? 
Into our room of bliss thus hioh advanced 
Creatures of other mould, earth-born perhaps, 
Not spirits, yet to heavenly spirits bright 
Little inferior ; whom my thoughts pursue 
With wonder, and could love, so lively shines 
In them Divine resemblance, and such grace 
The hand that formed them on their shape hath poured. 
Ah ! gentle pair, ye little think how nigh 
Your change approaches, when all these delights 
Will vanish, and deliver ye to woe ; 
More woe, the more your taste is now of joy ; 
Happy, but for so happy ill secured 
Long to continue, and this high seat, your heaven 
111 fenced for heaven to keep out such a foe 
As now is entered ; yet no purposed foe 
To you, whom I could pity thus forlorn, 
Though I unpitied. League with you I seek, 
And mutual amity, so straight, so close. 
That I with you must dwell, or you with me 
Henceforth. My dwelling haply may not please. 
Like this fair Paradise, your sense : yet such 
Accept, your Maker's work. He gave it me, 

IV.— 38I-4I4-] 


Which I as freely give : hell shall unfold, 

To entertain you two, her widest gates, 

And send forth all her kings ; there will be room, 

Not like these narrow limits, to receive 

Your numerous offspring ; if no better place, 

Thank him who puts me loth to this revenge 

On you who wrong me not, for him who wronged. 

And should I at your harmless innocence 

Melt, as I do, yet public reason just. 

Honour and empire, with revenge enlarged 

By conquering this new world, compels me now 

To do what else, though damned, I should abhor. 

So spake the Fiend, and with necessity, 
The tyrant's plea, excused his devilish deeds. 
Then from his lofty stand on that high tree 
Down he alights among the sportful herd 
Of those four-footed kinds, himself now one, 
Now other, as their shape served best his end, 
Nearer to view his prey, and unespied. 
To mark what of their state he more might learn 
By word or action marked. About them round 
A lion now he stalks with fiery glare ; 
Then as a tiger, who by chance hath spied 
In som.e purlieu two gentle fawns at play, 
Straight crouches close, then rising, changes oft 
His couchant watch, as one who chose his ground, 
Whence rushing he might surest seize them both, 
Griped in each paw ; when Adam, first of men, 
To first of women. Eve, thus moving speech. 
Turned him, all ear to hear new utterance flow: 

Sole partner, and sole part of all these joys, 
Dearer thyself than all ; needs must the Power 
That made us, and for us this ample world, 
Be infinitely good, and of his good 


[Book IV.— 

As liberal, and free as infinite ; 

That raised us from the dust, and placed us here 

In all this happiness ; who at his hand 

Have nothing merited, nor can perform 

Aught whereof he hath need ; he who requires 

From us no other service than to keep 

This one, this easy charge : — of all the trees 

In Paradise that bear delicious fruit 

So various, not to taste that only Tree 

Of Knowledge, planted by the tree of Life ; 

So near grows death to life, whate'er death is. 

Some dreadful thing no doubt ; for well thou know'st 

God hath pronounced it death to taste that tree, 

The only sign of our obedience left 

Among so many signs of power and rule 

Conferred upon us, and dominion given 

Over all other creatures that possess 

Earth, air, and sea. Then let us not think hard 

One easy prohibition, who enjoy 

Free leave so large to all things else, and choice 

Unlimited of manifold delio^hts ; 

But let us ever praise Him, and extol 

His bounty ; following our delightful task, 

To prune these growing plants, and tend these flowers, 

Which were it toilsome, yet with thee were sweet. 

To whom thus Eve replied : O thou, for whom, 
And from whom, I was formed, flesh of thy flesh, 
And without whom am to no end, my guide 
And head ! what thou hast said is just and right. 
For we to Him indeed all praises owe, 
And daily thanks ; I chiefly, who enjoy 
So far the happier lot, enjoying thee 
Pre-eminent by so much odds, while thou 
Like consort to thvself canst nowhere find. 

Book IV.— 449-482.] 



That day I oft remember, when irom sleep 

I first awaked, and found myself reposed, 

Under a shade, on flowers, much wondering where 

And what I was, whence thither brought, and how. 

Not distant far from thence a murmuringf sound 

Of waters issued from a cave, and spread 

Into a liquid plain, then stood unmoved. 

Pure as the expanse of heaven. I thither went, 

With unexperienced thought, and laid me down 

On the green bank, to look into the clear 

Smooth lake, that to me seemed another sky. 

As I bent down to look, just opposite 

A shape within the watery gleam appeared, 

Bending to look on me : I started back. 

It started back ; but pleased I soon returned, 

Pleased it returned as soon with answering looks 

Of sympathy and love. There I had fixed 

Mine eyes till now, and pined with vain desire. 

Had not a voice thus warned me : What thou seest, 

What there thou seest, fair creature, is thyself ; 

With thee it came and goes. But follow me, 

And I will bring thee where no shadow stays 

Thy coming, and thy soft embraces ; he 

Whose image thou art, him thou shalt enjoy 

Inseparably thine, to him shalt bear 

Multitudes like thyself, and thence be called 

Mother of human race. What could I do, 

But follow straight, invisibly thus led ? 

Till I espied thee, fair indeed, and tall. 

Under a plantane, yet methought less fair, 

Less winning soft, less amiably mild, 

Than that smooth watery image. Back I turned. 

Thou, following, criedst aloud. Return, fair Eve ; 

Whom flyest thou ? whom thou flyest, of him thou art, 


PARADISE LOST. [Book IV.-483-516. 

His flesh, his bone ; to give thee being I lent 
Out of my side to thee, nearest my heart. 
Substantial life, to have thee by my side 
Henceforth an individual solace dear ; 
Part of my soul, I seek thee, and thee claim, 
My other half With that thy gentle hand 
Seized mine : I yielded ; and from that time see 
How beauty is excelled by manly grace, 
And wisdom, which alone is truly fair. 

So spake our general mother ; and with eyes 
Of conjugal attraction unreproved, 
And meek surrender, half-embracing leaned 
On our first father ; half her swelling breast 
Naked met his, under the flowing gold 
Of her loose tresses hid : he m delight 
Both of her beauty and submissive charms, 
Smiled with superior love, as Jupiter 
On Juno smiles, when he impregns the clouds 
That shed May flowers ; and pressed her matron lip 
With kisses pure. Aside the Devil turned 
For envy ; yet with jealous leer malign 
Eyed them askance, and to himself thus plained: 

Sight hateful, sight tormenting ! thus these two, 
Imparadised in one another's arms. 
The happier Eden, shall enjoy their fill 
Of bliss on bliss ; while I to Hell am thrust, 
Where neither joy nor love, but fierce desire, 
Among our other torments not the least, 
Still unfulfilled, with pain of longing pines. 
Yet let me not forgret what I have grained 
From their own mouths. All is not theirs, it seems 
One fatal tree there stands, of Knowledge called, 
Forbidden them to taste. Knowledge forbidden ! 
Suspicious, reasonless. Why should their Lord 

Book IV. — 517-550.] 



Envy them that ? Can it be sin to know ? 

Can it be death ? And do they only stand 

By ignorance ? Is that their happy state, 

The proof of their obedience and their faith ? 

O fair foundation laid whereon to build 

Their ruin ! Hence I will excite their minds 

With more desire to know, and to reject 

Envious commands, invented with design 

To keep them low, whom knowledge might exalt 

Equal with gods. Aspiring to be such. 

They taste and die ; what likelier can ensue ? 

But first with narrow search I must walk round 

This garden, and no corner leave unspied. 

A chance but chance may lead where I may meet 

Some wandering spirit of heaven by fountain side, 

Or in thick shade retired, from him to draw 

What further would be learned. Eive while ye may, 

Yet happy pair ; enjoy, till I return, 

Short pleasures ; for long woes are to succeed. 

So saying, his proud step he scornful turned, 
But with sly circumspection, and began 

Through wood, through waste, o'er hill, o'er dale, his roam. 

Meanwhile, in utmost longitude, where heaven 

With earth and ocean meets, the setting sun 

Slowly descended, and with right aspect 

Against the eastern gate of Paradise 

Levelled his evening rays. It was a rock 

Of alabaster, piled up to the clouds. 

Conspicuous far, winding with one ascent 

Accessible from earth, one entrance high ; 

The rest was craggy cliff, that overhung 

Still as it rose, impossible to climb. 

Betwixt these rocky pillars Gabriel sat, 

Chief of the angelic guards, awaiting night. 



[Book IV.— i;s'-s84. 

About him exercised heroic games 

The unarmed youth of Heaven, but nigh at hand 

Celestial armoury, shields, helms, and spears, 

Hung high, with diamond flaming, and with gold. 

Thither came Uriel, gliding through the even 

On a sunbeam, swift as a shooting star 

In autumn, 'thwart the night, when vapours fired 

Impress the air, and show the mariner 

From what point of his compass to beware 

Impetuous winds : he thus began in haste : 

Gabriel, to thee thy course by lot hath given 
Charge and strict watch, that to this happy place 
No evil thing approach or enter in. 
This day at height of noon came to my sphere 
A spirit, zealous, as he seemed, to know 
More of the Almighty's works, and chiefly man, 
God's latest image. I described his way 
Bent all on speed, and marked his aery gait ; 
But in the mount that lies from Eden north, 
Where he first lighted, soon discerned his looks 
Alien from Heaven, with passions foul obscured. 
Mine eye pursued him still, but under shade 
Lost sight of him. One of the banished crew, 
I fear, hath ventured from the deep to raise 
New troubles ; him thy care must be to find. 

To whom the winofed warrior thus returned : 
Uriel, no wonder if thy perfect sight. 
Amid the sun's bright circle where thou sitt'st, 
See far and wide. In at this gate none pass 
The vigilance here placed, but such as come 
Well known from Heaven, and since meridian hour 
No creature thence. If spirit of other sort. 
So minded, have o'erleaped these earthly bounds 
On purpose, hard thou knowest it to exclude 




/. lOO. 

So promised he ; and Uriel to his charge 

Bcoi IV , lines 589, 590. 

BOOK IV.— 585-615.] 



Spiritual substance with corporeal bar. 

But if within the circuit of these walks, 

In whatsoever shape he lurk, of whom 

Thou tellest, by morrow dawning I shall know. 

So promised he ; and Uriel to his charge 
Returned on that bright beam, whose point now raised 
Bore him slope downward to the sun, now fallen 
Beneath the Azores whither the bright orb, 
Incredible how swift, had thither rolled 
Diurnal, or this less voluble earth, 
By shorter flight to the east, had left him there 
Arraying with reflected purple and gold 
The clouds that on his western throne attend." 

Now came still evening on, and twilight grey 
Had in her sober livery all things clad ; 
Silence accompanied ; for beast and bird. 
They to their grassy couch, these to their nests 
Were slunk, all but the wakeful nightingale, 
She all night long her amorous descant sung ; 
Silence was pleased. Now glowed the firmament 
With living sapphires : . Hesperus, that led 
The starry host, rode brightest ; till the moon, 
Rising in clouded majesty, at length. 
Apparent queen, unveiled her peerless light. 
And o'er the dark her silver mantle threw. 

When Adam thus to Eve : Fair consort, the hour 
Of night, and all things now retired to rest. 
Mind us of like repose ; since God hath set 
Labour and rest, as day and night, to men 
Successive ; and the timely dew of sleep. 
Now falling with soft slumbrous weight, inclines 

' Azores.— Islands in the Western Ocean, which are sometimes confounded with the Canaries. They were due west 
from the seat of Paradise. 

' His western throne attend.- -\X is observable that Milton will not here say whether the Ptolemaic or the Copcrnican 
system is the true one. 



[Book IV.— 6i6-€47. 

Our eye-lids. Other creatures all day long 

Rove idle, unemployed, and less need rest, 

Man hath his daily work of body or mind 

Appointed, which declares his dignity, 

And the reg^ard of Heaven on all his wavs : 

While other animals unactive range. 

And of their doings God takes no account. 

To-morrow, ere fresh morning streak the east 

With first approach of light, we must be risen, 

And at our pleasant labour, to reform 

Yon flowery arbours, yonder alleys green, 

Our walk at noon, with branches overgrown, 

That mock our scant manuring,' and require 

More hands than ours to lop their wanton growth ; 

Those blossoms also, and those dropping gums, 

That lie bestrewn, unsightly and unsmooth, 

Ask riddance, if we mean to tread with ease ; 

Meanwhile, as Nature wills, night bids us rest. 

To whom thus Eve, with perfect beauty 'domed : 
My author and disposer, what thou bidd'st 
Unargued I obey ; so God ordains : 
God is thy law, thou mine : to know no more 
Is woman's happiest knowledge, and her praise. 
With thee conversing, I forgot all time ; 
All seasons, and their change, all please alike. 
Sweet is the breath of morn, her rising sweet, 
With charm of earliest birds ; pleasant the sun. 
When first on this delightful land he spreads 
His orient beams, on herb, tree, fruit, and flower, 
Glistering with dew ; fragrant the fertile earth 
After soft showers ; and sweet the coming on 
Of grateful evening mild ; then silent night. 

' Our manuring. — Our culture. " The manuring hand of the tiller shall root out all that burdens the soil."— Reasons 
of Church Government. 

IV.— 648-681.] 


With this her solemn bird, and this fair moon, 
And these the gems of heaven, her starry train : 
But neither breath of morn, when she ascends 
With charm of earhest birds ; nor risine sun 
On this dehghtful land ; nor herb, fruit, flower, 
Glistering with dew ; nor fragrance after showers, 
Nor grateful evening mild ; nor silent night, 
With this her solemn bird ; nor walk by moon. 
Or glittering starlight, without thee is sweet. 
But wherefore all night long shine these ? for whom 
This glorious sight, when sleep hath shut all eyes ? 

To whom our general ancestor replied : 
Daughter of God and man, accomplished Eve, 
These have their course to finish round the earth 
By morrow evening, and from land to land 
In order, though to nations yet unborn, 
Ministering light prepared, they set and rise, 
Lest total darkness should by night regain 
Her old possession, and extinguish life 
In Nature and all thinors ; which these soft fires 
Not only enlighten, but, with kindly heat 
Of various influence, foment and warm. 
Temper or nourish, or in part shed down 
Their stellar virtue on all kinds that grow 
On Earth, made hereby apter to receive 
Perfection from the sun's more potent ray. 
These then, though unbeheld in deep of night, 
Shine not in vain. Nor think, though men were none, 
That heaven would want spectators, God want praise. 
Millions of spiritual creatures walk the Earth 
Unseen, both when we wake, and when we sleep. 
All these with ceaseless praise His works behold 
Both day and night. How often from the steep 
Of echoing hill or thicket have we heard 


[Book IV — i 

Celestial voices to the midnight air, 
Sole, or responsive each to other's note, 
Singing their great Creator ! Oft in bands 
While they keep watch, or nightly rounding walk, 
With heavenly touch of instrumental sounds 
In full harmonic number joined, their songs 
Divide the night, and lift our thoughts to heaven. 

Thus talking, hand in hand alone they passed 
On to their blissful bower. It was a place 
Chosen by the sovereign Planter, when he framed 
All things to man's delightful use. The roof 
Of thickest covert was inwoven shade. 
Laurel, and myrtle, and what higher grew 
Of firm and fragrant leaf ; on either side 
Acanthus, and each odorous bushy shrub, 
Fenced up the verdant wall ; each beauteous flower, 
Iris all hues, roses, and jessamine, 

Reared high their flourished heads between, and wrought 

Mosaic ; under foot the violet. 

Crocus, and hyacinth, with rich inlay 

Broidered the ground, more coloured than with stone 

Of costliest emblem : other creature here. 

Beast, bird, insect, or worm, durst enter none, 

Such was their awe of man. In shadier bower 

More sacred and sequestered, though but feigned, 

Pan or Sylvanus' never slept, nor Nymph 

Nor Faunus^ haunted. Here, in close recess, 

With flowers, garlands, and sweet-smelling herbs. 

Espoused Eve decked first her nuptial bed ; 

And heavenly quires the hymenean sung, 

What day the genial Angel to our sire 

Brought her, in naked beauty more adorned, 

&ylvanus. — A divinity of fields and forests. Nymph w;- Rural divinities, male and female. 

yooK IV.— 714-743-] 



More lovely than Pandora,' whom the gods 
Endowed with all their gffts ; and, O ! too like 
In sad event, when to the unwiser son 
Of Japhet brought by Hermes, she ensnared 
Mankind with her fair looks, to be avenged 
On him who had stole Jove's authentic fire. 

Thus, at their shady lodge arrived, both stood, 
Both turned, and under open sky adored 
The God that made both sky, air, earth, and heaven, 
Which they beheld, the moon's resplendent globe, 
And starry pole. Thou also mad'st the night. 
Maker Omnipotent, and thou the day 
Which we, in our appointed work employed, 
Have finished, happy in our mutual help 
And mutual love, the crown of all our bliss 
Ordained by thee ; and this delicious place 
For us too large, where thy abundance wants 
Partakers, and uncropt falls to the ground. 
But thou hast promised from us two a race 
To fill the earth, who shall with us extol 
Thy goodness infinite, both when we wake. 
And when we seek, as now, thy gilted sleep. 

This said unanimous,^ and other rites 
Observing none, but adoration pure 
Which God likes best, into their inmost bower 
Handed they went ; and, eased the putting off 
These troublesome disguises which we wear, 
Straight side by side were laid ; nor turned, I ween, 
Adam from his fair spouse, nor Eve the rites 
Mysterious of connubial love refused : 

' More lovely than Pandora. — The story concerning Pandora is, that Prometheus, the son of Japhet, stole fire from 
heaven and gave it to the earth. Jupiter, to punish the theft, sent Pandora to him, endowed by the gods with all charms, 
as her name imports. She was brought to him by Hermes. Prometheus was not taken by the snare ; but his younger 
brother was, and, being curious to know the contents of a casket in Pandora's possession, caused it to be opened, from 
which all kinds of evil came forth. 

* Unanimous. — By both — with one heart. 



[Book IV. — 744 777. 

Whatever hypocrites austerely talk 

Of purity, and place, and innocence, 

Defaming as impure what God declares 

Pure, and commands to some, leaves free to all. 

Our Maker bids increase ; who bids abstain 

But our destroyer, foe to God and man ? 

Hail, wedded love, mysterious law, true source 

Of human offspring, sole propriety 

In Paradise, in all things common else! 

By thee adulterous lust was driven from men 

Among the bestial herds to range ; by thee, 

Founded in reason, loyal, just, and pure. 

Relations dear, and all the charities 

Of father, son, and brother, first were known. 

Far be it, that I should write thee sin or blame, 

Or think thee unbefittmg holiest place ; 

Perpetual tountain of domestic sweets. 

Whose bed is undefiled, and chaste pronounced, 

Present, or past, as saints and patriarchs used. 

Here Love his golden shafts employs, here lights 

His constant lamp, and waves his purple wings. 

Reigns here and revels ; not in the bought smile 

Of harlots, loveless, joyless, unendeared, 

Casual fruition, nor in court amours, 

Mixed dance, or wanton mask, or midnight ball, 

Or serenate, which the starved lover sings 

To his proud fair, best quitted with disdain. 

These, lulled by nightingales, embracing slept. 

And on their naked limbs the flowery roof 

Showered roses, which the morn repaired. Sleep on, 

Blest pair ; and, O ! yet happiest, if ye seek 

No happier state, and know to know no more. 

Now had night measured with her shadowy cone 
Half way up hill this vast sublunar vault, 

/ io6. These to the bower direct 

In search of whom they sought. 

Book I v., lines 798, 799. 

IV.— 778-811.] 


And from their ivory port the cherubim, 
Forth issuing at the accustomed hour, stood armed 
To their night watches in warHke parade, 
When Gabriel to his next in power thus spake : 

Uzziel, half these draw off, and coast the south 
With strictest watch ; these other wheel the north ; 
Our circuit meets full west. As flame they part, 
Half wheeling to the shield, half to the spear. 
From these, two strong and subtle sp'rits he called 
That near him stood, and gave them thus in charge : 

Ithuriel and Zephon, with winged speed 
Search through this garden, leave unsearched no nook ; 
But chiefly where those two fair creatures lodge, 
Now laid perhaps asleep, secure of harm. 
This evening from the sun's decline arrived 
Who tells of some infernal spirit seen 
Hitherward bent — who could have thought ? — escaped 
The bars of Hell, on errand bad no doubt: 
Such, where ye find, seize fast, and hither bring. 

So saying, on he led his radiant files. 
Dazzling the moon ; these to the bower direct 
In search of whom they sought. Him there they found, 
Squat like a toad close at the ear of Eve, 
Assaying by his devilish art to reach 
The organs of her fancy, and with them forge 
Illusions, as he list, phantasms and dreams. 
Or if, inspiring venom, he might taint 
The animal spirits, that from pure blood arise 
Like gentle breaths from rivers pure, thence raise. 
At least, distempered, discontented thoughts, 
Vain hopes, vain aims, inordinate desires. 
Blown up with high conceits engendering pride. 
Him thus intent Ithuriel with his spear 
Touched lightly ; — for no falsehood can endure 



[Book IV.— 812-845. 

Touch of celestial temper, but returns 

Of force to its own likeness. Up he starts, 

Discovered and surprised. As when a spark 

Lights on a heap of nitrous powder, laid 

Fit for the tun, some magazine to store 

Against a rumoured war, the smutty grain. 

With sudden blaze diffused, inflames the air; 

So started up in his own shape the Fiend. 

Back stept those two fair angels, half amazed 

So sudden to behold the grizzly king. 

Yet thus, unmoved with fear, accost him soon : 

Which of those rebel spirits adjudged to hell 
Com'st thou, escaped thy prison ? and transformed, 
Why satt'st thou like an enemy in wait, 
Here watching at the head of these that sleep ? 

Know ye not, then, said Satan, filled with scorn. 
Know ye not me ? Ye knew me once no mate 
For you, there sitting where ye durst not soar: 
Not to know me, argues yourselves unknown, 
The lowest of your throng ; or, if ye know, 
Why ask ye, and superfluous begin 
Your message, like to end as much in vain ? 

To whom thus Zephon, answering scorn with scorn : 
Think not, revolted spirit, thy shape the same, 
Or undiminished brightness to be known. 
As when thou stood'st in heaven, upright and pure ; 
That glory then, when thou no more wast good. 
Departed from thee ; and thou resemblest now 
Thy sin and place of doom obscure and foul. 
But come ; for thou, be sure, shalt give account 
To him who sent us, whose charge is to keep 
This place inviolable, and these from harm. 

So spake the cherub ; and his grave rebuke, 
Severe in youthful beauty, added grace 

IV.— 846-879-] 


Invincible. Abashed the devil stood, 
And felt how awful goodness is, and saw 
Virtue in her shape how lovely ; saw, and pined 
His loss ; but chiefly to find here observed 
His lustre visibly impaired ; yet seemed 
Undaunted. If I must contend, said he, 
Best with the best, the sender not the sent, 
Or all at once ; more glory will be won, 
Or less be lost. Thy fear, said Zephon bold, 
Will save us trial what the least can do 
Single against thee, wicked and thence weak. 

The Fiend replied not, overcome with rage ; 
But, like a proud steed reined, went haughty on, 
Champing his iron curb : to strive or fly 
He held it vain ; awe from above had quelled 
His heart, not else dismayed. Now drew they nigh 
The western point, where those half-rounding guards 
Just met, and, closing, stood in squadron joined, 
Awaiting next command. To whom their chief. 
Gabriel, from the front thus called aloud : 

O friends ! I hear the tread of nimble feet 
Hasting this way, and now by glimpse discern 
Ithuriel, and Zephon, through the shade; 
And with them comes a third of regal port. 
But faded splendour wan, who by his gait 
And fierce demeanour seems the prince of Hell, 
Not likely to part hence, without contest ; 
Stand firm, for in his look defiance lours. 

He scarce had ended, when those two approached, 
And brief related whom they brought, where found. 
How busied, in what form and posture couched. 

To whom with stern regard thus Gabriel spake : 
Why hast thou, Satan, broke the bounds prescribed 
To thy transgressions, and disturbed the charge 

I lO 


[Book IV.— 880-913 

Of others, who approve not to transgress 
By thy example, but have power and right 
To question thy bold entrance on this place ; 
Employed, it seems, to violate sleep, and those 
Whose dwelling God hath planted here in bliss ? 

To whom thus Satan, with contemptuous brow : 
Gabriel, thou hadst m Heaven the esteem of wise, 
And such I held thee ; but this question asked 
Puts me in doubt. Lives there who loves his pain ? 
Who would not, finding way, break loose from hell, 
Though thither doomed ? Thou wouldst thyself, no doubt. 
And boldly venture to whatever place 
Farthest from pain, where thou mightst hope to change 
Torment with ease, and soonest recompense 
Dole with delight, which in this place I sought ; 
To thee no reason, who knowest only good, 
But evil hast not tried : and wilt object 
His will, who bound us ?- Let him surer bar 
His iron gates, if he intends our stay 
In that dark durance. Thus much what was asked. 
The rest is true, they found me where they say ; 
But that implies not violence or harm. 

Thus he in scorn. The warlike Angel moved, 
Disdainfully half smiling, thus replied : 
O loss of one in heaven to judge of wise ! 
Since Satan fell, whom folly overthrew. 
And now returns him from his prison 'scaped, 
Gravely in doubt whether to hold them wise 
Or not, who ask what boldness brought him hither 
Unlicensed from his bounds in hell prescribed; 
So wise he judges it to fly from pain. 
However, and to 'scape his punishment! 
So judge thou still, presumptuous ! till the wrathj 
Which thou incurr'st by flying, meet thy flight 

Book IV.— 914-945.] 


I 1 1 

Sevenfold, and scourge that wisdom back to hell 

Which taught thee yet no better, that no pain 

Can equal anger infinite provoked. 

But wherefore thou alone ? Wherefore with thee 

Came not all hell broke loose ? Is pain to them 

Less pain, less to be fled ; or thou than they 

Less hardy to endure? Courageous chief! 

The first in flight from pain ! Hadst thou alleged 

To thy deserted host this cause of flight, 

Thou surely hadst not come sole fugitive. 

To which the Fiend thus answered, frowning stern : 
Not that I less endure, or shnnk from pain. 
Insulting; Anwl ! Well thou knowest I stood 
The fiercest, when in battle to thy aid 
The blasting vollied thunder made all speed, 
And seconded thy else not dreaded spear. 
But still thy words at random as before 
Argue thy inexperience, what behoves' 
From hard assays, and ill successes past, 
A faithful leader, not to hazard all 
Through ways of danger by himself untried. 
I therefore, I alone first undertook 
To wing the desolate abyss and spy 
This new-created world, whereof in hell 
Fame is not silent, here in hope to find . 
Better abode, and my afflicted powers 
To settle here on earth, or in mid air ; 
Though for possession put to try once more 
What thou and thy gay legions dare against ; 
Whose easier business were to serve their Lord 
High up in heaven, with songs to hymn his throne, 
And practised distances to cringe, not fight. 

' Inexperience^ what behoves. — As to what behoves. 



[Book IV.— 946-977, 

To whom the warrior Angel soon replied : 
To say and straight unsay, pretending first 
Wise to fly pain, professing next the spy, 
Argues no leader, but a liar traced, 
Satan : and couldst thou faithful add ? O name, 
O sacred name of faithfulness profaned ! 
Faithful to whom ? To thy rebellious crew ? 
Army of fiends, fit body to fit head. 
Was this your discipline and faith engaged. 
Your military obedience, to dissolve 
Allegiance to the acknowledged Power Supreme ? 
And thou, sly hypocrite, who now wouldst seem 
Patron of liberty, who more than thou 
Once fawned, and crmged, and servilely adored 
Heaven's awful monarch ? wherefore, but in hope 
To dispossess him, and thyself to reign ? 
But mark what I areed thee' now: Avaunt ! 
Fly thither whence thou fledd'st ! If from this hour 
Within these hallowed limits thou appear. 
Back to the infernal pit I drag thee chained, 
And seal thee so, as henceforth not to scorn 
The facile gates of hell too slightly barred. 

So threatened he ; but Satan to no threats 
Gave heed, but, waxing more in rage, replied : 

Then, when I am thy captive, talk of chains, 
Proud limitary cherub !^ but ere then 
Far heavier load thyself expect to feel 
From my prevailing arm, though heaven's king 
Ride on thy wings, and thou with thy compeers, , 
Used to the yoke, draw^'st his triumphant wheels 
In progress through the road of Heaven star-paved. 

While thus he spake, the angelic squadron bright 

' Areed thee. — Anglo-Saxon for counsel — admonish. 

' Proud limitary cherub. — One set to watch limits — to guard boundaries. 

IjOOK IV. — 978-1009.] 


Turned fiery red, sharpening in mooned horns 
Their phalanx, and began to hem him round 
With ported spears, as thick as when a field 
Of Ceres, ripe for harvest, waving bends 
Her bearded grove of ears, which way the wind 
Sways them ; the careful ploughman doubting stands 
Lest on the threshing-floor his hopeful sheaves 
Prove chaff. On the other side, Satan, alarmed, 
Collecting all his might, dilated stood, 
Like Teneriff or Atlas, unremoved : 
His stature reached the sky, And on his crest 
Sat horror plumed ; nor wanted m his grasp 
What seemed both spear and shield. Now dreadful deeds 
Might have ensued ; nor only Paradise, 
In this commotion, but the starry cope 
Of heaven perhaps, or all the elements 
- At least had gone to wrack, disturbed and torn 
With violence of this conflict, had not soon 
The Eternal, to prevent such horrid fray. 
Hung forth in heaven his golden scales, yet seen 
Betwixt Astrea and the Scorpion' sign, 
Wherein all things created first He weighed. 
The pendulous round earth with balanced air 
In counterpoise ; now ponders all events. 
Battles and realms : in these he put two weights, 
The sequel each of parting and of fight : 
The latter quick up flew, and kicked the beam ; 
Which Gabriel spying, thus bespake the Fiend : 

Satan, I know thy strength, and thou know'st mine ; 
Neither our own, but given ; what folly then 
To boast what arms can do ! since thine no more 
Than Heaven permits, nor mine, though doubled now 

Betwixt Astrea and the Scorpion. Signs in the Zodiac. 



[Book IV.— loio- 1015. 

To trample thee as mire : for proof look up, 

And read thy lot in yon celestial sign, 

Where thou art weighed, and shown how light, how weak 

If thou resist. The Fiend looked up, and knew 

His mounted scale aloft: nor more;' but fled 

Murmuring, and with him fled the shades of night. 

' Scale ah/t: rtof m^ri. — Nor saud ought more. 

/• 114- Leaning", half raibcd, with looks of cordial love, 

Huiii^ over her enamoured. 

Book I ' , /iin s 12, 13. 


Morning approached, Eve relates to Adam her troublesome dream ; he likes it not, yet comforts her ; they come forth 
to their day-labours ; their morning hymn at the door of their bower. God, to render man inexcusable, sends 
Raphael to admonish him of his obedience, of his free estate, of his enemy near at hand, who he is, and why his 
enemy, and whatever else may avail Adam to know. Raphael comes down to Paradise ; his appearance described ; 
his coming discerned by Adam afar off, sitting at the door of his bower ; he goes out to meet him, brings him to 
his lodge, entertains him with the choicest fruits of Paradise, got together bv Eve ; their discourse at table ; Raphael 
performs his message, minds Adam of his state and of his enemy ; relates, at Adam's request, who that enemy is, 
and how he came to be so, beginning from the first revolt in heaven, and the occasion thereof ; how he drew his 
legions after him to the parts of the north, and there incited them to rebel with him, persuading all but only Abdiel, 
a seraph, who in argument dissuades and opposes him, then forsakes him. 

NOW morn, her rosy steps in the eastern cHme 
Advancing, sowed the earth with orient peari, 
When .Adam waked, so customed : for his sleep 
Was aery-Hght, from pure digestion bred, 
And temperate vapours bland, which the only sound 
Of leaves and fuming rills, Aurora's fan,' 
Lightly dispersed, and the shrill matin song 
Of birds on every bough ; so much the more 
His wonder was to find unwakened Eve 
With tresses discomposed, and glowing cheek, 
As through unquiet rest. He, on his side 
Leaning, half raised, with looks of cordial love 
Hung over her enamoured, and beheld 
Beauty, which, whether waking or asleep. 
Shot forth peculiar graces ; then with voice 
Mild as when Zephyrus on Flora breathes. 
Her hand soft touching, whisper'd thus : — Awake, 
My fairest, my espoused, my latest found. 
Heaven's last, best gift, my ever-new delight ! 
Awake : the morning shines, and the fresh field 

' Aurora's /an. —We often speak of fanning winds, and in the morning they may be described as Aurora's fan. 

Il6 PARADISE LOST. LBook V.-21-S4. 

Calls US ; we lose the prime to mark how spring 
Our tender plants, how blows the citron grove, 
What drops the myrrh, and what the balmy reed, 
How Nature paints her colours, how the bee 
Sits on the bloom extracting liquid sweet. 

Such whispering waked her, but with startled eye 
On Adam, whom embracing, thus she spake : — 

O sole in whom my thoughts find all repose, 
My glory, my perfection ! glad I see 
Thy face and morn returned ; for I this night — 
Such night till this I never passed — have dreamed. 
If dreamed, not, as I oft am wont, of thee. 
Works of day past, or morrow's next design ; 
But of offence and trouble, which my mind 
Knew never till this irksome night. Methought 
Close at mine ear one called me forth to walk 
With gentle voice — I thought it thine. It said, 
Why sieep'st thou, Eve ? now is the pleasant time, 
The cool, the silent, save where silence yields 
To the night-warbling bird, that now awake 
Tunes sweetest his love-laboured song ; now reigns 
Full-orbed the moon, and with more pleasing light 
Shadowy sets off the face of things — in vain, 
If none regard. Heaven wakes with all his eyes, 
Whom to behold but thee. Nature's desire ? 
In whose sight all things joy, with ravishment 
Attracted by thy beauty still to gaze. 
I rose as at thy call, but found thee not ; 
To find thee I directed then my walk ; 
And on, methought, alone I passed through ways 
That brought me on a sudden to the tree 
Of interdicted knowledge. Fair it seemed. 
Much fairer to my fancy than by day : 
\nd, as I wondering looked, beside it stood 



One shaped and winged like one of those from h 

By us oft seen : his dewy locks distilled 

Ambrosia/ On that tree he also gazed ; 

And oh, fair plant, said he, with fruit surcharged, 

Deigns none to ease thy load, and taste thy sweet. 

Nor God, nor man ? Is knowledge so despised ? 

Or envy, or what reserve forbids to taste ? 

Forbid who will, none shall from me withhold 

Longer thy offered good ; why else set here ? 

l^his said, he paused not, but with venturous arm 

He plucked, he tasted. Me damp horror chilled 

At such bold words, vouched with a deed so bold 

But he thus, overjoyed : O fruit divine, 

Sweet of thyself, but much more sweet thus cropt, 

Forbidden here, it seems, as only fit 

For gods, yet able to make gods of men ; 

And why not gods of men ; since good, the more 

Communicated, more abundant grows. 

The author not impaired, but honoured more ? 

H ere, happy creature, fair angelic Eve ! 

Partake thou also : happy though thou art. 

Happier thou mayst be, worthier canst not be, 

Taste this, and be henceforth among the gods 

Thyself a goddess, not to earth confined, 

But sometimes in the air, as we ; sometimes 

Ascend to Heaven, by merit thine, and see 

What life the gods live there, and such live thou. 

So saying, he drew nigh, and to me held. 

Even to my mouth of that same fruit held part 

Which he had plucked : the pleasant savoury smell 

So quickened appetite, that I, methought, 

Could not but taste. Forthwith up to the clouds 

Ambrosia, — Grateful odour, proper to the gods. 



[Book V.— 87 -12a 

With him I flew, and underneath beheld 

The earth outstretched immense, a prospect wide 

And various ; wondering at my flight and change 

To this high exaltation, suddenly 

My guide was gone, and I, methought, sunk down 

And fell asleep ; but, oh, how glad I waked 

To find this but a dream. Thus Eve her night 

Related, and thus Adam answered sad : 

Best image of myself, and dearer half. 
The trouble of thy thoughts this night in sleep 
Affects me equally ; nor can I like 
This uncouth "dream, of evil sprung, I fear. 
Yet evil" whence ? in thee can harbour none, 
Created pure. But know, that in the soul 
Are many lesser faculties, that serve 
Reason as chief Among these, Fancy next 
Her office holds ; of all external things, 
Which the five watchful senses represent, 
She forms imaginations, aery shapes, 
Which reason joining or disjoining frames 
All what we affirm or what deny, and call 
Our knowledge or opinion ; then retires 
Into her private cell, when nature rests. 
Oft in her absence mimic Fancy wakes 
To imitate her ; but misjoining shapes, 
Wild work produces oft, and most in dreams ; 
111 matching words and deeds long past or late, 
Some such resemblances, methinks, I find 
Of our last evening's talk, in this thy dream. 
But with addition strange ; yet be not sad. 
Evil into the mind of God or Man 
May come and go, so unapproved, and leave 
No spot or blame behind ; which gives me hope 
That what in sleep thou didst abhor to dream, 

Book V. — 121-154.] 



Waking thou never wilt consent to do. 
Be not disheartened, then, nor cloud those looks, 
That wont to be more cheerful and serene. 
Than when fair morning first smiles on the world ; 
And let us to our fresh employments rise 
Among the groves, the fountains, and the flowers, 
That open now their choicest bosomed smells. 
Reserved from night, and kept for thee in store. 

So cheered he his fair spouse, and she was cheered, 
But silently a gentle tear let fall 
From either eye, and wiped them with her hair ; 
Two other precious drops that ready stood, 
Each in their crystal sluice, he, ere they fell. 
Kissed, as the gracious signs of sweet remorse 
And pious awe, that feared to have offended. 

So all was cleared, and to the Held they haste. 
But first from under shady arborous roof, 
Soon as they forth were come to open sight 
Of day-spring, and the sun, who, scarce uprisen. 
With wheels yet hovering o'er the ocean-brim, 
Shot parallel to the earth his dewy ray. 
Discovering in wide landscape all the east 
Of Paradise and Eden's happy plains, 
Lowly they bowed adoring, and began 
Their orisons, each morning duly paid 
In various style ; for neither various style 
Nor holy rapture wanted they to praise 
Their Maker, in fit strains pronounced, or sung 
Unmeditated ; such prompt eloquence 
Flowed from their lips, in prose or numerous verse ; 
M ore tuneable than needed lute or harp 
To add more sweetness ; and they thus began : 

These are Thy glorious works. Parent of good, 
Almighty ! Thine this universal frame, 



[Book V. — 155-184. 

Thus wondrous fair : Thyself how wondrous then ! 

Unspeakable, who sitt'st above these heavens 

To us invisible, or dimly seen 

In these thy lowest works; yet these declare 

Thy goodness beyond thought, and power divine. 

Speak, ye who best can tell, ye sons of light, 

Angels, for ye behold Him, and with songs 

And choral symphonies, day without night. 

Circle his throne rejoicing ; ye in heaven. 

On earth join all ye creatures to extol 

Him first, Hnn last, Hun midst, and without end. 

Fairest of stars, last in the train of night, 

If better thou belon<T not to the dawn. 

Sure pledge of day, that crown'st the smiling morn 

With thy bright circlet, praise Him in thy sphere, 

While day arises, that sweet hour of prime. 

Thou Sun, of this great world both eye and soul, 

Acknowledge Him thy greater; sound His praise 

In thy eternal course, both when thou climb'st. 

And when high noon hast gamed, and when thou fall'st. 

Moon, that now meet'st the orient sun, now fly'st, 

With the fixed stars, fixed in their orb that flies ; 

And ye five other wandering fires,' that move 

In mystic dance^ not without song, resound 

His praise, who out of darkness called up light. 

Air, and ye elements, the eldest birth 

Of nature's w^omb, that in quaternion run^ 

Perpetual circle, multiform ; and mix 

And nourish all things ; let your ceaseless change 

Vary to our great Maker still new praise. 

• And ye five other wandering fires. — The five planets known in Milton's time — Venus, Mercury, Mars, jupiter. 
and Saturn. 

" Tliat move in mystic dance. — The fitting action of things is often described as their music. Hence the wide 
application of the words harmony, concord, &c., derived from music. 

^ That in quaternion run. — A reference to the supposed four-fold influence of the first elements of things. • 

Book V.— 185-218.] 



Ye mists and exhalations, that now rise 

From hill or steaming lake, dusky or grey, 

Till the sun paint your fleecy skirts with gold. 

In honour to the world's great Author rise ; 

Whether to deck with clouds the uncoloured sky, 

Or wet the thirsty earth with falling showers, 

Rising or falling, still advance His praise. 

His praise, ye winds that from four quarters blow, 

Breathe soft or loud ; and wave your tops, ye pines, 

With every plant, in sign of worship wave. 

Fountains, and ye that warble as ye flow, 

Melodious murmurs, warbling tune His praise. 

Join voices, all ye living souls : ye birds 

That, singing, up to Heaven-gate ascend. 

Bear on your wings and in your notes His praise. 

Ye that in waters glide, and ye that walk 

The earth, and stately tread, or lowly creep ; 

Witness if I be silent, morn or even, 

To hill or valley, fountain or fresh shade. 

Made vocal by my song, and taught His praise. 

Hail, universal Lord ! be bounteous still 

To give us only good ; and if the night 

Have gathered aught of evil, or concealed, 

Disperse it, as now light dispels the dark. 

So prayed they innocent, and to their thoughts 
Firm peace recovered soon, and wonted calm. 
On to their morning's rural work they haste, 
Among sweet dews and flowers, where any row 
Of fruit-trees, over-woody, reached too far 
Their pampered boughs, and needed hands to check 
Fruitless embraces : or they led the vine 
To wed her elm ; she, spoused, about him twines 
Fler marriageable arms, and with her brings 
Her dower, the adopted clusters, to adorn 




[Book V.— 2 19- 23a 

His barren leaves. Them thus employed beheld 

With pity heaven's high King, and to Him called 

Raphael, the sociable spirit, that deigned 

To travel with Tobias,' and secured 

His marriage with the seven-times wedded maid. 

Raphael, said he, thou hear'st what stir on Earth 
Satan, from Hell 'scaped through the darksome gulf. 
Hath raised in Paradise ; and how disturbed 
This night the human pair ; how he designs 
In them at once to ruin all mankind. 
Go, therefore, half this day, as friend with friend. 
Converse with Adam, in what bower or shade 
Thou find'st him from the heat of noon retired, 
To respite his day-labour with repast. 
Or with repose ; and such discourse bring on 
As may advise him"* of his happy state — 
Happiness in his power, left free to will. 
Left to his own free will, his will though free 
Yet mutable ; whence warn him to beware 
He swerve not, too secure. Tell him withal 
His danger, and from whom ; what enemy 
Late fallen himself from heaven, is plotting now 
The fall of others from like state of bliss ; 
By violence ? no, for that shall be withstood ; 
But by deceit and lies. This let him know, 
Lest, wilfully transgressing, he pretend 
Surprisal, unadmonished, unforewarned. 

So spake the Eternal Father, and fulfilled 
All justice. Nor delayed the winged saint 
After his charge received ; but from among 
Thousand celestial Ardours,^ where he stood 
Veiled with his gorgeous wings, up springing light, 

' To travel with Tobias. — See Book of Tobit. ^ As may advise him. — Make him aware of — sensible to. 

* Celestial Ardours. — Seraphic powers. 

Book v.— 251-281.] PARADISE LOST. 1 23 

Flew through the midst of heaven ; — the angehc quires, 

On each hand parting, to his speed gave way 

Through all the empyreal road : till, at the gate 

Of Heaven arrived, the gate self opened wide 

On golden hinges turning, as by work 

Divine the sov'reign Architect had framed. 

From hence no cloud, or, to obstruct his sight, 

Star interposed, however small — he sees, 

Not unconform' to other shining globes, 

Earth, and the garden of God, with cedars crowned 

Above all hills. As when by night the glass 

Of Galileo, less assured, observes 

I machined lands and regrions in the moon: 

Or pilot,"* from amidst the Cyclades, 

Delos or Samos^ first appearing, kens 

A cloudy spot. Down thither prone in flight 

He speeds, and through the vast ethereal sky 

Sails between worlds and worlds, with steady wing, 

Now on the polar winds, then with quick fan 

Winnows the buxom air till, within soar 

Of towering eagles, to all the fowls he seems 

A phoenix, gazed by all, as that sole bird, 

When, to enshrine his relics in the Sun's 

Bright temple, to Egyptian Thebes he flies. 

At once on the eastern cliff of Paradise 
He lights ; and to his proper shape returns, 
A seraph winged. Six wings he wore, to shade 
His lineaments divine; the pair that clad 
Each shoulder, broad, came mantling o'er his breast 
With regal ornament ; the middle pair 
Girt like a starry zone his waist, and round 

' Not unconform. — Sees the earth as conformed in appearance to other globes. 

* Or pilot. — Used by Milton for captain or commander. 

* Cyclades, Delos or Samos. — Greek islands. 

* Buxom air. — Light, yielding. 

124 PARADISE LOST. [Book V.-282-311 

Skirted his loins and thighs with downy gold, 

And colours dipt in heaven ; the third his feet 

Shadowed from either heel with feathered mail, 

Sky-tinctured grain.' Like Maia's son^ he stood. 

And shook his plumes, that heavenly fragrance filled 

The circuit wide. Straiijht knew him all the bands 

Of Angels under watch ; and to his state, 

And to his message high, in honour rise ; 

For on some message high they guessed him bound. 

Their glittering tents he passed, and now is come 

Into the blissful field, through groves of myrrh. 

And flowering odours, cassia, nard, and balm ; 

A wilderness of sweets ; for Nature here 

Wantoned as in her prime, and played at will 

Her virgin fancies, pouring forth more sweet, 

Wild above rule or art, enormous bliss. 

Him through the spicy forest onward come 

Adam discerned, as in the door he sat 

Of his cool bower, while now the mounted sun 

Shot down direct his fer\ad rays, to warm 

Earth's inmost womb, more warmth than Adam needs ; 

And Eve within, due at her hour prepared 

For dinner savoury fruits, of taste to please 

True appetite, and not disrelish thirst 

Of nectareous draughts between, from milky stream, 

Berry, or grape : to whom thus Adam called : 

Haste hither. Eve, and, worth thy sight, behold. 
Eastward among those trees, what glorious shape 
Comes this way moving ; seems^ another morn 
Risen on mid-noon. Some orreat behest from Heaven 

' Feathered mail, sky-tinctured grain. — Beautiful colouring wrought in so as to be durable. 

" Dipt in the richest tincture of the skies." 

Pope, " Rape of the Lock," cant. it. 

- Like Maia's son. — Like Mercury. 
' Seems. — It seems 

/■ 124- Eastward among those trees, what glorious shape 

Comes this way moving? 

Book v., lines 309, 310. 

UoOK v.— 312-343.] 



To us perhaps he brings, and will vouchsafe 
This day to be our guest. But go with speed, 
And, what thy stores contain, bring forth, and pour 
Abundance, fit to honour and receive 
Our heavenly stranger ; well we may afford 
Our givers their own gifts, and large bestow 
From large bestowed, where Nature multiplies 
Her fertile growth, and by disburdening grows 
More fruitful, which instructs us not to spare. 

To whom thus Eve : Adam, earth, hallowed mould, 
Of God inspired ! small store will serve, where store, 
All seasons, ripe for use hangs on the stalk ; 
Save what by frugal storing firmness gains 
To nourish, and superfluous moist consumes. 
But I will haste, and from each bough and brake, 
Each plant and juiciest gourd, will pluck such choice 
To entertain our Angel-guest, as he 
Beholding shall confess that here on earth 
God hath dispensed his bounties as in Heaven. 

So saying, with dispatchful looks, in haste 
She turns, on hospitable thoughts intent 
What choice to choose for delicacy best, 
What order so contrived as not to mix 
Tastes not well joined, inelegant, but bring 
Taste after taste upheld with kindliest change ; 
Bestirs her then, and from each tender stalk 
Whatever Earth, all-bearing mother, yields 
In India East or West, or middle shore 
In Pontus or the Punic coast,' or where 
Alcinous reigned fruit of all kinds, in coat 
Rough, or smooth rind, or bearded husk, or shell, 
She gathers, tribute large, and on the board 

' Pontns or the Punic coast— On the northern or the southern shores of the Meditcrranear.. 
' Alcinous reigned. — He reigned over Corfu, Corcyra, &c. 



[Book V.- 344-374. 

Heaps with unsparing hand. For drink the grape 
She crushes, inoffensive must,' and meaths'' 
From many a berry, and from sweet kernels pressed, 
She tempers dulcet creams ; nor these to hold 
Wants her fit vessels pure ; then strews the ground 
With rose and odours from the shrub unfumed. 

Meanwhile our primitive great sire, to meet 
His godlike guest, walks forth without more train 
Accompanied than with his own complete 
Perfections. In himself was all his state. 
More solemn than the tedious pomp that waits 
On princes, when their rich retinue long 
Of horses led, and grooms besmeared with gold, 
Dazzles the crowd, and sets them all agape. 
Nearer his presence Adam, though not awed. 
Yet with submiss approach and reverence meek, 
As to a superior nature, bowing low, 
Thus said : Native of Heaven, for other place 
None can than Heaven such glorious shape contain ; 
Since by descending from the thrones above. 
Those happy places thou hast deigned a while 
To want, and honour these ; vouchsafe with us 
Two only, who yet by sovereign gift possess 
This spacious ground, in yonder shady bower 
To rest, and what the garden choicest bears 
To sit and taste, till this meridian heat 
Be over, and the sun more cool decline. 

Whom thus the angelic Virtue^ answered mild : 
Adam, I therefore came ; nor art thou such 
Created, or such place hast here to dwell. 
As may not oft invite, though spirits of Heaven, 

' She crushes, uitffensive must. — New wine, pressed from the grape, but not fermented. 
' And meaths.— \ixm\i%. Anglo-Saxon. 

' Angelic Virtue.— Virtues were an order of their own — high in rank in the celestial hierarchy. 

v.— 375-406.] 



To visit thee. Lead on then where thy bower 

O'ershades ; for these mid hours, till evening rise, 

I have at will. So to the sylvan lodge 

They came, that like Pomona's arbour smiled,^ 

With flowerets decked, and fragrant smells. But Eve, 

Undecked save with herself, more lovely fair 

Than wood-nymph, or the fairest goddess feigned 

Of three that in Mount Ida naked strove,^ 

Stood to entertain her guest from heaven ; no veil 

She needed, virtue proof ; no thought infirm 

Altered her cheek. On whom the angel " Hail!" 

Bestowed, the holy salutation used 

Long after to blest Mary, second Eve. 

Hail, mother of mankind, whose fruitful womb 
Shall fill the world more numerous with thy sons, 
Than with these various fruits the trees of God 
Have heaped this table. Raised of grassy turf 
Their table was, and mossy seats had round. 
And on her ample square from side to side, 
All autumn piled, though spring and autumn here 
Danced hand in hand. A while discourse they hold, 
No fear lest dinner cool ; when thus began 
Our author: Heavenly stranger, please to taste 
These bounties, which our Nourisher, from whom 
All perfect good, unmeasured out, descends, 
To us for food and for delight hath caused 
The Earth to yield ; unsavoury food perhaps 
To spiritual natures ; only this I know, 
That one celestial Father gives to all. 

To whom the Angel : Therefore what He gives — 
Whose praise be ever sung — to man in part 
Spiritual, may of purest spirits be found 

Like Pomona's arbour smiled. — Pomona was the goddess of fruit trees. 

Of three (hat in MowU Ida naked strove. — Juno, Minerva, and Venus thus appealed to the judgment of Paris. 



[Book, v.— 407-438. 

No ungrateful food : and food alike those pure 
Intelligential substances require, 
As doth your rational ; and both contain 
Within them every lower faculty 

Of sense, whereby they hear, see, smell, touch, taste, 

Tasting, concoct, digest, assimilate. 

And corporeal to incorporeal turn. 

For know, whatever was created needs 

To be sustained and fed : of elements 

The grosser feeds the purer, earth the sea. 

Earth and the sea feed air, the air those fires 

Ethereal, and as lowest, first the moon ; 

Whence in her visage round those spots. 

Vapours not yet into her substance turned. 

Nor doth the moon no nourishment exhale 

From her moist continent to higher orbs. 

The sun, that light imparts to all, receives 

From all his alimental recompense 

In humid exhalations, and at even 

Sups with the ocean. Though in Heaven the trees 

Of life ambrosial fruitage bear, and vines 

Yield nectar ; though from off the boughs each morn, 

We brush mellifluous dews, and find the ground 

Covered with pearly grain ; yet God hath here 

Varied his bounty so with new delights, 

As may compare with Heaven ; and to taste 

Think not I shall be nice. So down they sat, 

And to their viands fell ; nor seemingly 

The Angel, nor in mist — the common gloss 

Of theologians — but with keen despatch 

Of real hunger' and concoctive heat 

To transubstantiate : what redounds, transpires 

• With keen elcspatch of real luinger. — This seems a confounding of spirit with matter. But Milton adheres strictly 
to the sacred text, and there was possibly more reality under such phenomena than is dreamt of in our philosophy. 

Book V.— 439-471.] 



Through spirits with ease ; nor wonder, if by fire 

Of sooty coal the empiric alchymist 

Can turn, and holds it possible to turn, 

Metals of drossiest ore to perfect gold. 

As from the mine. Meanwhile at table Eve 

Ministered naked, and their flowing cups 

With pleasant liquors crowned. O innocence, 

Deserving Paradise ! if ever, then. 

Then' had the sons of God excuse to have been 

Enamoured at that sight ; but in those hearts 

Love unlibidinous reigned, nor jealousy 

Was understood, the injured lover's hell. 

Thus when with meats and drinks they had sufficed, 
Not burdened nature, sudden mind arose 
In Adam not to let the occasion pass. 
Given him by this great conference, to know 
Of thino^s above his world, and of their beincj 
Who dwell in heaven, whose excellence he saw 
Transcend his own so far : whose radiant forms, 
Divme effulgence, whose high power, so far 
Exceeded human : and his wary speech 
Thus to the empyreal minister he Iramed : 

Inhabitant with God, now know I well 
Thy favour, in this honour done to man ; 
Under whose lowly roof thou hast vouchsafed 
To enter, and these earthly fruits to taste, 
Food not of Angels, yet accepted so. 
As that more willingly thou couldst not seem 
At heaven's high feasts to have fed : yet what compare ! 

To whom the winged Hierarch replied: 
O Adam, one Almighty is, from whom 
All things proceed, and up to Him return, 
If not depraved from good, created all 

' If ever, then, then. — If the time was ever, it was then. 



[Book v.— 472-5(15. 

Such to perfection, one first matter all, 

Endued with various forms, various degrees 

Of substance, and, in things that live, of life ; 

But more refined, more spirituous, and pure, 

As nearer to Him placed, or nearer tending 

Each in their several active spheres assigned, 

Till body up to spirit work, in bounds 

Proportioned to each kind. So from the root 

Springs lighter the green stalk, from thence the leaves 

More aery, last the bright consummate flower 

Spirits odorous breathes : flowers and their fruit, 

Man's nourishment, by gradual scale sublimed, 

To vital spirits aspire, to animal, 

To intellectual ; give both life and sense, 

Fancy and understanding ; whence the soul 

Reason receives, and reason is her being. 

Discursive, or intuitive ; discourse 

If oftest yours, the latter most is ours. 

Differing but in degree, of kind the same. 

Wonder not, then, what God for you saw good 

If I refuse not, but convert, as you. 

To proper substance. Time may come when men 

With angels may participate, and find 

No inconvenient diet, nor too light fare ; 

And from these corporeal nutriments, perhaps. 

Your boch'es may at last turn all to spirit, 

Improved by tract of time, and winged, ascend 

Ethereal, as we ; or may, at choice, 

H ere or in heavenly paradises dwell ; 

If ye be found obedient, and retain 

Unalterably firm, His love entire, 

Whose progeny you are. Meanwhile enjoy 

Your fill what happiness this happy state 

Can comprehend, incapable of more. 

Book V.— 506-539.] 



To whom the patriarch of mankind repHed : 
Oh, favourable spirit, propitious guest, 
Well hast thou taught the way that might direct 
Our knowledge, and the scale of nature set 
From centre to circumference ; whereon, 


In contemplation of created things. 

By steps we may ascend to God. But say, 

What meant that caution joined, If ye be found 

Obedient ? Can we want obedience then 

To Him, or possibly His love desert, 

Who formed us from the dust, and placed us here 

Full to the utmost measure of what bliss 

Human desires can seek or apprehend ? 

To whom the Angel : Son of Heaven and Earth, 
Attend : that thou art happy, owe to God ; 
That thou continuest such, owe to thyself, 
That is, to thy obedience ; therein stand. 
This was that caution given thee ; be advised. 
God made thee perfect, not immutable ; 
And good he made thee ; but to persevere 
He left it in thy power; ordained thy will 
By nature free, not over-ruled by fate 
Inextricable, or strict necessity. . 
Our voluntary service he requires, 
Not our necessitated ; such with hrni 
Finds no acceptance, nor can find ; for how 
Can hearts not free be tried whether they serve 
Willing or no, who will but what they must 
By destiny, and can no other choose ? 
Myself, and all the Angelic host that stand 
In sight of God, enthroned, our happy state 
Hold, as you yours, while our obedience holds; 
On other surety none. Freely we serve, 
Because we freely love, as in our will 


[Book V. 

To love or not ; in this we stand or fall. 
And some are fallen, to disobedience fallen, 
And so from Heaven to deepest Hell — oh, fall 
From what hicrh state of bliss into what woe ! 

To whom our great progenitor : Thy words 
Attentive, and with more delighted ear, 
Divine instructor, I have heard, than when 
Cherubic songs by night from neighbouring hills 
Aerial music send : nor knew I not 
To be both will and deed created free. 
Yet that we never shall forget to love 
Our Maker, and obey him whose command 
Single is yet so just, my constant thoughts 
Assured me, and still assure ; though what thou tcll'st 
Hath passed in heaven, some doubt within me move, 
But more desire to hear, if thou consent, 
The full relation, which must needs be strange, 
Worthy of sacred silence to be heard ; 
And we have yet large day, for scarce the sun 
Hath finished half his journey, and scarce begins 
His other half in the great zone of heaven. 

Thus Adam made request ; and Raphael, 
After short pause assenting, thus began : 

High matter thou enjoinest me, oh, prime of men, 
Sad task and hard : for how shall I relate 
To human sense the invisible exploits 
Of warring spirits ? how, without remorse, 
The ruin of so many, glorious once 
And perfect while they stood ? how last unfold 
The secrets of another world, perhaps 
Not lawful to reveal ? Yet for thy good 
Th is is dispensed ; and what surmounts the reach 
Of h uman sense, I shall delineate so, 
By likening spiritual to corporal forms, 

Book V.-574-607.] PARADISE LOST. 1 3 3 

As may express them best ; though what if earth 
Be but the shadow of heaven, and things therein 
Each to other hke, more than on earth is thought ? 

As yet this world was not, and Chaos wild 
Reigned where these heavens now roll, where earth now rests 
Upon her centre poised ; when on a day — 
For time, though in eternity, applied 
To motion, measures all things durable 
By present, past, and future — on such day 
As heaven's great year brings forth, the empyreal host 
Of Angels, by imperial summons called. 
Innumerable before the Almighty's throne 
Forthwith, from all the ends of heaven, appeared 
Under their Hierarchs in orders brifjht. 
Ten thousand thousand ensigns high advanced, 
Standards and gonfalons 'twixt van and rear 
Stream in the air, and for distinction serve 
Of Hierarchies, of Orders, and Degrees; 
Or in their Hittering^ tissues bear imblazed 
Holy memorials, acts of zeal and love. 
Recorded eminent. Thus when in orbs 
Of circuit inexpressible they stood. 
Orb within orb, the Father infinite, 
By whom in bliss embosomed sat the Son, 
Amidst, as from a flaming mount, whose top 
Brightness had made invisible, thus spake : 

Hear, all ye Angels, progeny of light. 
Thrones, Dominations, Princedoms, Virtues, Powers ; 
Hear my decree, which unrevoked shall stand. 
This day I have begot whom I declare 
My only Son, and on this holy hill 
Him have anointed, whom ye now behold 
At my right hand; your head I Him appoint; 
And by myself have sworn, to Him shall bow 

134 PARADISE LOST. [Book V.-608 «39. 

All knees in heaven, and shall confess him Lord : 

Under his great vicegerent reign abide 

United, as one individual soul, 

For ever happy. Him who disobeys. 

Me disobeys, breaks union ; and that day, 

Cast out from God and blessed vision, falls 

Into utter darkness, deep engulfed, his place 

Ordained without redemption, without end. 

So spake the Omnipotent, and with his words 
All seemed well pleased — all seemed, but were not all. 
That day, as other solemn days, they spent 
In song and dance about the sacred hill ; 
Mystical dance, which yonder starry sphere 
Of planets, and of fixed, in all her wheels 
Resembles nearest, mazes intricate. 
Eccentric, intervolved, yet regular 
Then most, when most irregular they seem ; 
And in their motions harmony divine 
So smoothes her charming tones, that God's own ear 
Listens delighted. Evening now approached — 
For we have also our evening and our morn, 
We ours for change delectable not need — 
Forthwith from dance to sweet repast they turn 
■ Desirous. All in circles as they stood, 
Tables are set, and on a sudden piled 
With angels' food ; and rubied nectar flows 
In pearl, in diamond, and massy gold. 
Fruit of delicious vmes, the growth of heaven. 
On flowers reposed, and with fresh flowerets crowned. 
They eat, they drink ; and in communion sweet 
Quaff immortality and joy, secure 
Of surfeit/ where full measure only bounds 

• Secure of surfeit. — Secure against it. 

Rook V. -640-673.] 


Excess, before the all-bounteous King, who showered 

With copious hand, rejoicing in their joy. 

Now when ambrosial night with clouds exhaled 

From that high mount of God, whence light and shade 

Spring both, the face of brightest heaven had changed 

To grateful twilight,^ — for night comes not there 

In darker veil, — and roseate dews disposed 

All but the unsleeping eyes of God to rest ; 

Wide over all the plain, and wider far 

Than all this globous earth in plain outspread, — 

Such are the courts of God, — the angelic throng, 

Dispersed in bands and files, their camp extend 

By living streams among the trees of life, 

Pavilions numberless, and sudden reared, 

Celestial tabernacles, where they slept 

Fanned with cool winds — save those, who. in their course, 

Melodious hymns about the sovereign throne 

Alternate all night long. .But not so waked 

Satan — so call him now, his former name 

Is heard no more in heaven. He of the first, 

If not the first Archangel, great in power, 

In favour and pre-eminence, yet fraught 

With envy against the Son of God, that day 

Honoured by his great Father, and proclaimed 

Messiah, king anointed, could not bear 

Through pride that sight, and thought himself impaired. 

Deep malice thence conceiving and disdain, 

Soon as midnight brought on the dusky hour 

Friendliest to sleep and silence, he resolved 

With all his legions to dislodge, and leave 

Unworshipped, unobeyed, the throne supreme, 

Contemptuous : and his next subordinate 

Awakening, thus to him in secret spake : 

Sleepest thou, companion dear ? What sleep can close 

136 PARADISE LOST. ' I Book v. -674-708 

Thy eye-lids ? and rememberest what decree 

Of yesterday, so late hath passed the lips 

Of heaven's Almighty ? Thou to me thy thoughts 

Was wont, I mine to thee was wont to impart ; 

Both waking we were one ; how then can now 

Thy sleep dissent ? New laws thou seest imposed ; 

New laws from Him who reigns, new mmds may raise 

In us who serve, new counsels, to debate 

What doubtful may ensue — more in this place 

To utter is not safe. Assemble thou. 

Of all those myriads which we lead, the chief ; 

Tell them that by command, ere yet dim night 

Her shadowy clouds withdraws, I am to haste, 

And all who under me their banners wave. 

Homeward, with flying march, where we possess 

The quarters of the North ; there to prepare 

Fit entertainment to receive our king, 

The great Messiah, and his new commands, 

Who speedily through all the Hierarchies 

Intends to pass triumphant, and give laws. 

So spake the false Archangel, and infused 
Bad influence into the unwary breast 
Of his associate. He together calls, 
Or several one by one, the regent powers, 
Under him regent ; tells, as he was taught, 
That the Most High commanding, now ere night, 
N ow ere dim night had disencumbered heaven. 
The great hierarchal standard was to move ; 
Tells the suggested cause, and casts between 
Ambiguous words and jealousies, . to sound 
Or taint integrity. But all obeyed 
The wonted signal and superior voice 
Of their great potentate ; for great indeed 
His name, and high was his degree in heaven. 
His countenance, as the mornina- star that oruides 

Book V.— 709-742.] 


The starry flock, allured them, and with lies 
Drew after him the third part of heaven's host. 
Meanwhile the eternal eye, whose sight discerns 
Abstrusest thoughts, from forth his holy mount, 
And from within the golden lamps that burn 
Nightly before him, saw without their light 
Rebellion rising ; saw in whom, how spread 
Among the sons of morn, what multitudes 
Were banded to oppose his high decree ; 
And, smiling, to his only Son thus said : 

Son, thou in whom my gloiy I behold 
In full resplendence, heir of all my might, 
Nearly it now concerns us to be sure 
Of our omnipotence, and with what arms 
We mean to hold what anciently we claim 
Of deity or empire. Such a foe 
Is rising, who intends to erect his throne 
Equal to ours, throughout the spacious North ; 
Nor so content, hath in his thought to try 
In battle, what our power is, or our right. 
Let us advise, and to this hazard draw 
With speed what force is left, and all employ 
In our defence ; lest unawares we lose 
This our high place, our sanctuary, our hill. 

To whom the Son, with calm aspect and clear, 
Lightning divine, ineffable, serene, 
Made answer: Mighty Father, thou thy foes 
Justly hast in derision, and, secure, 
Laugh'st at their vam designs and tumults vain, 
Matter to me of gloiy, whom their hate 
Illustrates, when they see all regal power 
Given me to quell their pride, and in event 
Know whether I be dextrous to subdue 
Thy rebels, or be found the worst in heaven. 

" ' s 


[Book V.— 743-770. 

So spake the Son : but Satan, with his powers, 
F'ar was advanced on winged speed ; a host 
Innumerable as the stars of night, 
Or stars of morning dewdrops which the sun 
Impearls on every leaf and every flower. 
Regions they passed, the mighty Regencies 
Of Seraphim, and Potentates, and Thrones, 
In their triple degrees — regions, to which 
All thy dominion, Adam, is no more 
Than what this garden is to all the earth, 
And all the sea, from one entire globose 
Stretched into longitude — which having passed, 
At lenoth into the limits of the North 
They came ; and Satan to his royal seat. 
High on a hill, far blazing, as a mount 
Raised on a mount, with pyramids and towers 
From diamond quarries hewn, and rocks of gold, 
The palace of great Lucifer — so call 
That structure in the dialect of men 
Interpreted — which not long after, he, 
Affecting all equality with God, 
In imitation of that mount whereon 
Messiah was declared in sight of heaven, 
The Mountain of the Congregation called. 
For thither he assembled all his train, 
Pretendino- so commanded to consult 
About the great reception of their king, 
Thither to come ; and with calumnious art 
Of counterfeited truth thus held their ears. 

Thrones, Dominations, Princedoms, Virtues, Powers ; 
If these magnific titles yet remain 
Not merely titular, since by decree 
Another now hath to himself engrossed 
All power, and us eclipsed, under the name 

Book V.— 777-810.] 


Of King anointed, for whom all this haste 

Of midnight march, and hurried meeting here, 

This only to consult how we may best, 

With what may be devised of honours new, 

Receive him coming to receive from us 

Knee-tribute yet unpaid, prostration vile ! 

Too much to one, but double how endured 

To one and to his image now proclamicd ? 

But what if better counsels might erect 

Our minds, and teach us to cast off this yoke ? 

Will ye submit your necks, and choose to bend 

The supple knee ? Ye will not, if I trust 

To know ye right, or if ye know yourselves 

Natives and sons of heaven, possessed before 

By none : and if not equal all, yet free, 

Equally free ; for orders and degrees 

Jar not with liberty, but well consist 

Who can in reason, then, or right, assume 

M onarchy over such as live by right 

His equals ? If in power and splendour less 

In freedom equal ? Or can introduce 

Law and edict on us, who without law 

Err not ? much less for this to be our Lord, 

And look for adoration, to the abuse 

Of those imperial titles, which assert 

Our being ordained to govern, not to serve. 

Thus far his bold discourse without control 
Had audience : when among the seraphim 
Abdiel, than whom none with more zeal adored 
The Deity, and divine commands obeyed. 
Stood up, and in a flame of zeal severe 
The current of his fury thus opposed : 

Oh, argument blasphemous, false, and proud ! 
Words which no ear ever to hear in Heaven 

140 PARADISE LOST. lBook V.-8 11-84^ 

Expected, least of all from thee, ingrate, 

In place thyself so high above thy peers. 

Canst thou with impious obloquy condemn 

The just decree of God, pronounced and sworn 

That to his only Son, by right endued 

With regal sceptre, every soul in heaven 

Shall bend the knee, and in that honour due 

Confess him rightful king? Unjust, thou say'st, 

Flatly unjust, to bind with laws the free, 

And equal over equals to let reign. 

One over all with unsucceeded power. 

Shalt thou give law to God ? Shalt thou dispute 

With Him the points of liberty, who made 

Thee what thou art, and formed the Powers of heaven 

Such as he pleased, and circumscribed their being ? 

Yet, by experience taught, we know how good, 

And of our good and of our dignity 

How provident he is ; how far from thought 

To make us less, bent rather to exalt 

Our happy state, under one head more near 

United. But to grant it thee unjust, 

That equal over equals monarch reign : 

Thyself, though great and glorious, dost thou count, 

Or all angelic nature joined in one, 

Equal to Him begotten Son, by whom 

A" by his word, the mighty Father made 

All things, even thee ; and all the Spirits of heaven 

By him created in their bright degrees, 

Crowned them with glory, and to their glor}^ named 

Th rones. Dominations, Princedoms, Virtues, Powers, 

Essential Powers ; nor by his reign obscured, 

But more illustrious made, since He the head. 

One of our number thus reduced becomes. 

His laws our laws, all honour to him done 

Book V.-84S-878.] PARADISE LOST. 1 4 1 

Returns our own. Cease, then, this impious rage, 
And tempt not these : but hasten to appease 
The incensed Father and the incensed Son, 
While pardon may be found in time besought. 

So spake the fervent Angel ; but his zeal 
None seconded, as out of season judged. 
Or singular and rash ; whereat rejoiced 
The Apostate, and, more haughty, thus replied : 

That WQ were formed then say'st thou, and the work 
Of secondary hands, by task transferred 
From Father to his Son ? strange point and new ! 
Doctrine which we would know whence learned. Who saw 
■ When this creation was ? Rememberest thou 
Thy making, while the Maker gave thee being ? 
We know no time when we w^ere not as now ; 
Know none before us, self-begot, self-raised 
By our own quickening power, when fatal course 
Had circled his full orb, the birth mature 
Of this our native Heaven, ethereal sons. 
Our puissance is our own : our own right hand 
Shall teach us highest deeds, by proof to try 
Who is our equal. Then thou shalt behold 
Whether by supplication we intend 
Address, and to begirt the Almighty throne 
Beseeching or besieging. This report, 
These tidings carry to the anointed King; 
And fly, ere evil intercept thy flight. 

He said ; and, as the sound of waters deep, 
Hoarse murmur echoed to his words applause 
Through the infinite host : nor less for that 
The flaming seraph, fearless, though alone, 
Encompassed round with foes, thus answered bold ; 

O alienate from God, O spirit accursed, 
Forsaken of all good ! I see thy fall 

142 PARADISE LOST. [Book V.-879-907. 

Determined, and thy hapless crew involved 
In this perfidious fraud, contagion spread 
Both of thy crime and punishment. Henceforth 
No more be troubled how to quit the yoke 
Of God's Messiah. Those indulgent laws 
Will not be now vouchsafed ; other decrees 
Against thee are Qrone forth without recall ; 
That golden sceptre which thou didst reject 
Is now an iron rod to bruise and break 
Thy disobedience. Well thou didst advise; 
Yet not for thy advice or threats I fly 
These wicked tents devoted, lest the wrath 
Impendent, raging into sudden flame. 
Distinguish not ; for soon expect to feel 
His thunder on thy head, devouring fire. 
Then who created thee lamenting learn, 
When who can uncreate thee thou shalt know. 

So spake the Seraph Alxliel, faithful found 
Among the faithless, faithful only he ; 
Among innumerable false, unmoved, 
Unshaken, unseduced, unterrified. 
His loyalty he kept, his love, his zeal ; 
Nor number nor example with him wrought 
To swerve from truth, or change his constant mind, 
Though single. From amidst them forth he passed, 
Long way through hostile scorn, which he sustained 
Superior, nor of violence feared aught ; 
And with retorted scorn, his back he turned 
On those proud towers to swift destruction doomed. 


Raphael continues to relate now Michael and Gabriel were sent forth to battle against Satan and his angels. The first 
fight described : Satan and his powers retire under night : lie calls a council ; invents devilish engines, wliich, in 
the second day's fight, put Michael and his angels to some disorder; but they at length pulling up mountains, 
overwhelm both the force and machines of Satan : yet the tumult not so ending, God, on the third day, sends Messiah 
his Son, for whom he had reserved the glory of that victory ; He, in the power of his Father, coming to the place, 
and causing all his legions to stand still on either side, with his chariot and thunder driving into the midst of his 
enemies, pursues them, unable to resist, towards the wall of heaven ; wliich opening, they leap down with horror and 
confiision into the place of punishment prepared for them in the deep : Messiah returns with triumpli to liis Father. 

ALL night the dreadless angel unpursued 
V Through heaven's wide champain held his way; till Morn, 
Waked by the circling hours, with rosy hand 
Unbarred the crates of liijht. There is a cave 
Within the mount of God, fast by his throne, 
Where light and darkness in perpetual round 
Lodge and dislodge by turns, which makes through heaven 
Grateful vicissitude, like day and night ; 
Light issues forth, and at the other door 
Obsequious darkness enters, till her hour 
To veil the heaven, thouQ-h darkness there mifjht well 
Seem twilight here : and now went forth the Morn 
Such as in highest heaven, arrayed in gold 
Empyreal ; from before her vanished Night, 
Shot through with orient beams ; when all the plain, 
Covered with thick embattled squadrons bright, 
Chariots, and flaming arms, and fiery steeds. 
Reflecting blaze on blaze first met his view : 
War he perceived, war in procinct and found 
Already known what he for news had thought 
To have reported : gladly then he mixed 
Among those friendly powers, who him received 

War in product. — Imminent, near. 

t44 PARADISE LOST. [Book VI.-23-si. 

With joy and acclamations loud, that one, 
That of so many myriads fallen, yet one 
Returned not lost. On to the sacred hill 
They led him high applauded, and present 
Before the seat supreme ; from whence a voice, 
From 'midst a golden cloud, thus mild was heard : 

Servant of God, well done ; well hast thou fought 
The better fight, who single hast maintained 
Aeainst revolted multitudes the cause 
Of truth, in word mightier than they in arms ; 
And for the testimony of truth hast borne 
Universal reproach, far worse to bear 
Than violence ; for this was all thy care, 
To stand approved in sight of God, though worlds 
Judged thee perverse. The easier conquest now 
Remains thee, aided by this host of friends, 
Back on thy foes more glorious to return, 
Than scorned thou didst depart, and to subdue 
By force, who reason for their law refuse. 
Right reason for their law, and for their king 
Messiah, who by right of merit reigns. 
Go, Michael, of celestial armies prince. 
And thou in military prowess next, 
Gabriel, lead forth to battle these my sons 
Invincible ; lead forth my armed saints. 
By thousands and by millions ranged for fight, 
Equal in number to that godless crew 
Rebellious ; them with fire and hostile arms 
Fearless assault, and, to the brow of heaven • 
Pursuing, drive them out from God and bliss 
Into their place of punishment, the gulf 
Of Tartarus, which ready opens wide 
His fiery chaos to receive their fall/ 

* To receive their fall. — " And there was war in heaven : Michael and his angels bought against the Dragon ; and tht 
Dragon fought and his angels." Rev. xii. 7. ^ 

VI.— 1;6-89.1 


So spake the Sovereign Voice, and clouds began 
To darken all the hill, and smoke to roll 
In dusky wreaths, reluctant flames, the sign 
Of wrath awaked ; nor with less dread the loud 
Ethereal trumpet from on high 'gan blow : 
At which command the powers militant. 
That stood for Heaven, in mighty quadrate joined 
Of union irresistible, moved on 
In silence their bright legions, to the sound 
Of instrumental harmony, that breathed 
Heroic ardour to adventurous deeds 
Under their godlike leaders, in the cause 
Of God and his Messiah, On they move 
Indissolubly firm ; nor obvious hill. 
Nor straitening vale, nor wood, nor stream, divides 
Their perfect ranks ; for high above the ground 
Their march was, and the passive air upbore 
Their nimble tread. As when the total kind 
Of birds, in orderly array on wing. 
Came, summoned over Eden, to receive 
Their names of thee ; so over many a tract 
Of heaven they marched, and many a province wide, 
Tenfold the length of this terrene. At last. 
Far in the horizon to the North, appeared 
From skirt to skirt a fiery region stretched 
In battailous aspect ; and, nearer view, 
Bristled with upright beams innumerable 
Of rigid spears, and helmets thronged, and shields 
Various, with boastful argument portrayed. 
The banded powers of Satan hasting on 
With fu rious expedition ; for they weened 
That self-same day, by fight, or by surprise, 
To win the mount of God, and on His throne 
To set the envier of his state, the proud 


[Book VI. — 90- 

Aspirer ; but their thoughts proved fond and vain 
In the mid-way. Though strange to us it seemed 
At first, that Angel should with Angel war, 
And in fierce hosting meet, who wont to meet 
So oft in festivals of joy and love 
Unanimous, as sons of one great Sire, 
Hymning the Eternal Father. But the shout 
Of battle now began, and rushing sound 
Of onset ended soon each milder thought. 
High in the midst, exalted as a god. 
The Apostate in his sun-bright chariot sat, 
Idol of majesty divine, enclosed 
With flaming cherubim, and golden shields ; 
Then lighted from his gorgeous throne, for now 
'Twixt host and host but narrow space was left, 
A dreadful interval, and front to front 
Presented stood in terrible array 
Of hideous length. Before the cloudy van, 
On the rough edge of battle ere it joined, 
Satan, with vast and haughty strides advanced, 
Came towering, armed in adamant and gold. 
Abdiel that sight endured not, where he stood 
Among the mightiest, bent on highest deeds. 
And thus his own undaunted heart explores : 

O Heaven! that such resemblance of the Highest 
Should yet remain, where faith and realty' 
Remain not ! Wherefore should not stren<jth and miijht 
There fail where virtue fails ? or weakest Drove . 
Where boldest, though to sight unconquerable ? 
His puissance, trusting in the Almighty's aid, 
I mean to try, whose reason I have tried 
Unsound and false. Nor is it aught but just 

Realty. — Realncss. 

Book VI.— 122-153.! 


That he, who in debate of truth hath won, 
Should win m arms, in both disputes ahke 
Victor ; though brutish that contest and foul, 
When reason hath to deal with force, yet so 
Most reason is that reason overcome. 

So pondering, and from his armed peers 
Forth stepping opposite, half-way he met 
His daring foe, at this prevention more 
Incensed, and thus securely him defied 

Proud, art thou met ? Thy hope was to have reached 
The height of thy aspiring unopposed, 
The throne of God unguarded, and his side 
Abandoned, at the terror of thy power 
Or potent tongue. Fool ! not to think how vain 
Against the Omnipotent to rise in arms ; 
Who out of smallest things, could, without end, 
Have raised incessant armies to defeat 
Thy folly ; or with solitary hand 
Reaching beyond all limit, at one blow, 
Unaided, could have finished thee, and whelmed 
Thy legions under darkness. But thou seest 
All are not of thy train ; there be, who faith 
Prefer, and piety to God, though then 
To thee not visible, when I alone 
Seemed in thy world erroneous to dissent 
From all ; my sect thou seest.^ Now learn too late 
How few sometimes may know, when thousands err. 

Whom the grand foe, with scornful eye askance, 
Thus answered : 111 for thee, but in wished hour 
Of my revenge, first sought for, thou returnest 
From flight, seditious Angel ! to receive 
Thy merited reward, the first assay 

Securely him defied. — Without fear. 

My sect thou seest. — Those who are at one with me. 



Of this right hand provoked, since first that tongue, 
Inspired with contradiction, durst oppose 
A third part of the gods, in synod met 
Their deities to assert ; who, while they feel 
Vigour divine within them, can allow 
Omnipotence to none. But well thou com'st 
Before thy fellows, ambitious to win 
From me some plume, that thy success may show 
Destruction to the rest. This pause between — 
Unanswered lest thou boast — to let thee know, 
At first I thought that liberty and heaven 
To heavenly souls had been all one ; but now 
I see that most through sloth had rather serve, 
Minist'ring spirits, trained up in feast and song : 
Such hast thou armed, the minstrelsy of heaven. 
Servility with freedom to contend, 
As both their deeds compared this day shall prove. 

To whom in brief thus Abdiel stern replied : 
Apostate ! still thou err'st, nor end wilt find 
Of erring, from the path of truth remote. 
Unjustly thou deprav'st it with the name 
Of servitude, to serve whom God ordains, 
Or nature. God and nature bid the same, 
When he who rules is worthiest, and excels 
Them whom he governs. This is servitude. 
To serve the unwise, or him who hath rebelled 
Against his worthier, as thine now sei"ve thee, 
Thyself not free, but to thyself inthralled ; 
Yet lewdly dar'st our minist'ring upbraid. 
Reign thou in Hell, thy kingdom ; let me serve 
In Heaven God ever-blest, and His divine 
Behests obey, worthiest to be obeyed. 
Yet chains in hell, not realms, expect : meanwhile. 
From me returned, as erst thou saidst, from flight. 
This greeting on thy impious crest receive. 

/. 148. 

This greeting on thy impious crest receive. 

Book VI., line 1 88. 

Book VI.-I89-22I.] PARADISE LOST. 1 49 

So saying, a noble stroke he lifted high, 
Which hung not, but so swift with tempest fell 
On the proud crest of Satan, that no sight, 
Nor motion of swift thought, less could his shield, 
Such ruin intercept. Ten paces huge 
He back recoiled ; the tenth on bended knee 
His massy spear upstaid — as if on earth 
Winds under ground, or waters forcing way, 
Sidelong had pushed a mountain from his seat, 
Half sunk with all his pines. Amazement seized 
The rebel thrones, but greater rage, to see 
Thus foiled their mightiest; ours joy filled, and shout, 
Presage of victory, and fierce desire 
Of battle ; whereat Michael bid sound 
The archangel trumpet. Through the vast ol Heaven 
It sounded, and the faithful armies rung 
Hosanna to the Hio^hest: nor stood at graze 
The adverse legions, nor less hideous joined 
The horrid shock. Now storming fury rose. 
And clamour, such as heard in heaven till now 
Was never ; arms on armour clashing brayed 
Horrible discord, and the madding wheels 
Of brazen chariots raged ; dire was the noise 
Of conflict ; overhead the dismal hiss 
Of fiery darts in flaming volleys flew. 
And flying vaulted either host with fire. 
So under fiery cope together rushed 
Both battles main,' with ruinous assault 
And inextinguishable rage. All heaven 
Resounded ; and had earth been then, all earth 
Had to her centre shook. What wonder ? when 
Millions of fierce encountering angels fought 
On either side, the least of whom could wield 

' Both battles viain. — The mass on both sides. 



These elements, and arm him with the force 

Of all their regions. How much more of power 

Army against army numberless to raise 

Dreadful combustion warring, and disturb, 

Though not destroy, their happy native seat ; 

Had not the Eternal King Omnipotent, 

From his strong hold of heaven, high overruled 

And limited their might ; though numbered such, 

As each divided legion might have seemed 

A numerous host, in strength each armed hand. 

A legion ; led in fight, yet leader seemed 

Each warrior, single as in chief, expert 

When to advance, or stand, or turn the sway 

Of battle, open when, and when to close 

The ridofes of i^rim war. No thouoht of fli^jht, 

None of retreat, no unbecoming deed 

That argued fear ; each on himself relied, 

As only in his arm the moment lay 

Of victor)^ Deeds of eternal fame 

Were done, but infinite ; for wide was spread 

That war, and various ; sometimes on firm ground 

A standing fight ; then, soaring on main wing, 

Tormented all the air ; all air seemed then 

Conflictinor fire. Lonij time in even scale 

The battle hung ; till Satan, who that day 

Prodigious power had shown, and met in arms 

No equal, ranging through the dire attack 

Of fighting seraphim confused, at length 

Saw where the sword of Michael smote, and felled 

Squadrons at once ; with huge two-handed sway 

Brandished aloft, the horrid edge came down 

Wide-wasting. Such destruction to withstand 

He hasted, and opposed the rocky orb 

Of tenfold adamant, his ample shield. 

Cook VI.— 256-287.] 


A vast circumference. At his approach 
The orreat Archanijel from his wadike toil 
Surceased, and glad, as hoping here to end 
Intestine war in heaven, the arch-foe subdued, 
Or captive dragged in chains, with hostile frown 
And visage all inflamed, first thus began : 

Author of evil unknown till thy revolt. 
Unnamed in heaven, now plenteous, as thou seest 
These acts oi hateful strife, hateful to all, 
Though heaviest, by just measure, on thyself 
And thy adherents ; how hast thou disturbed 
Heaven's blessed peace, and into nature brought 
Misery, uncreated till the crmie 
Of thy rebellion ? How hast thou instilled 
Thy malice into thousands, once upright 
And faithful, now proved false ? But think not here 
To trouble holy rest. Heaven casts thee out 
From all her confines. Heaven, the seat of bliss, 
Brooks not the works of violence and war. 
Hence, then, and evil go with thee along. 
Thy offspring, to the place of evil. Hell, 
Thou and thy wicked crew — there mingle broils. 
Ere this avenging sword begin thy doom, 
Or some more sudden vengeance, winged from God, 
Precipitate thee with augmented pain. 

So spake the prince of Angels ; to whom thus 
The Adversary: Nor think thou with wind 
Of airy threats to awe whom yet with deeds 
Thou canst not. Hast thou turned the least of these 
To flight, or if to fall, but that they rise 
Unvanquished, easier to transact with me,' 
That thou shouldst hope, imperious, and with threats 

• Easier to, Sr'c. — Has this failure against my followers led thee to think it easier to conquer mc ? 



[Book VI.-- 288-319. 

To chase me hence ? Err not' that so shall end 
The strife which thou call'st evil, but we style 
The strife of glory ; which we mean to win, 
Or turn this Heaven itself into the Hell 
Thou fablest : here, however, to dwell free. 
If not to reign. Meanwhile thy utmost force, 
And join Him named Almighty to thy aid, 
I fly not, but have sought thee far and nigh. 

They ended parle,^ and both addressed for fight 
Unspeakable ; for who, though with the tongue 
Of angels, can relate, or to what things 
Liken on earth conspicuous, that may lift 
Human imagination to such height 
Of godlike power ? for likcst gods they seemed, 
Stood they or moved, in stature, motion, arms, 
Fit to decide the empire of great Heaven. 
Now waved their fiery swords, and in the air 
Made horrid circles : two broad suns their shields 
Blazed opposite, while Expectation stood 
In horror. From each hand with speed retired, 
Where erst was thickest fight, the angelic throng, 
And left large field,- unsafe within the wind 
Of such commotion — such as, to set forth 
Great things by small, if. Nature's concord broke, 
Among the constellations war were sprung. 
Two planets, rushing from aspect malign 
Of fiercest opposition, in mid sky 
Should combat, and their jarring spheres confound. 
Together both, with next to almighty arm 
Uplifted imminent, one stroke they aimed 
That might determine, and not need repeat, 
As not of power at once ; nor odds appeared 

' Err not — Think not, deceive not thyself by thinking, &c. 

' They ended parle. — Talk, debate. 

A 152. 

Then Satan first knew pain, 
And writhed him to and fro. 

Book VI., lilies 327, 328. 

Book VI. — 320-351.] 


In might or swift prevention. But the sword 

Of Michael, from the armoury of God, 

Was given him tempered so, that neither keen 

Nor soHd mi^ht resist that edg^e : it met 

The sword of Satan, with steep force to smite 

Descending, and in half cut sheer ; nor stayed, 

But with swift wheel reverse, deep entering, shared' 

All his right side ; then Satan first knew pain, 

And writhed him to and fro convolved ; so sore 

The orrldino- sword with discontinuous wound^ 

Passed through him. But the ethereal substance closed. 

Not long divisible ; and from the gash 

A stream of nect'rous humour issuing flowed, 

Sanguine, such as celestial spirits may bleed. 

And all his armour stained, erewhile so bright. 

Forthwith, on all sides, to his aid was run 

By angels many and strong, who interposed 

Defence, while others bore him on their shields 

Back to his chariot, where it stood retired 

From off the files of war. There they him laid 

Gnashing for anguish, and despite, and shame, 

To find himself not matchless, and his pride 

Humbled by such rebuke, so far beneath 

His confidence to equal God in power. 

Yet soon he healed ; for spirits that live throughout 

Vital in every part, not as frail man 

In entrails, heart, or head, liver or reins, 

Cannot but by annihilating die ; 

Nor in their liquid texture mortal wound 

Receive, no more than can the fluid air. 

All heart they live, all head, all eye, all ear, 

All intellect, all sense ; and, as they please. 

' Shared. — Ploughed down. 

' With discontinuous wound.- 

^ Griding sword. — Old English for cutting, severing, 
, — A wound severing the proper continuity of parts. 


Ii;4 PARADISE LOST. [Book VI.-3;2-:»8v 

They limb themselves, and colour, shape, or size, 
Assume, as likes them best, condense or rare. 

Meanwhile, in other parts, like deeds, deserved 
Memorial, where the might of Gabriel fought, 
And with fierce ensigns pierced the deep array 
Of Moloch, furious king, who him defied. 
And at his chariot-wheels to drag him bound 
Threatened, nor from the Holy One of heaven 
Refrained his tongue blasphemous ; but anon, 
Down cloven to the waist, with shattered arms. 
And uncouth pain,' fled bellowing. On each wing, 
Uriel and Raphael, his vaunting foe, 
Though huge, and in a rock of diamond armed, 
Vanquished Adramelech and Asmadai, 
Two potent thrones, that to be less than gods 
Disdained, but meaner thoughts learned in their flight 
Mangled with ghastly wounds through plate and maii. 
Nor stood unmindful Abdiel to annoy 
The atheist crew, but with redoubled blow, 
Ariel, and Arioch, and the violence 
Of Ramiel, scorched and blasted, overthrew. 
I might relate of thousands, and their names 
Eternise here on Earth ; but those elect 
Angels, contented with their fame in Heaven, 
Seek not the praise of men ; the other sort. 
In might though wondrous, and in acts of war, 
Nor of renown less eager, yet by doom 
Cancelled from Heaven and sacred memory. 
Nameless in dark oblivion let them dwell. 
For strength from truth divided, and from just, 
Illaudable, nought merits but dispraise 
And ignominy ; yet to glory aspires, 

' Uncouth pain. — Disfiguring, strange. 

B>ok VI., line 40O. 

/. 154. 

On the foughteii field 
Michael and his angels, prevalent 
Encamping, placed in guard their watches round. 

Book K/., 410-41 2. 

Book VI.— 384-415.) 


Vain-glorious, and through ignominy seeks fame ; 
Therefore eternal silence be their doom. 

And now, their mightiest quelled, the battle swerved, 
With many an inroad gored ; deformed rout 
Entered, and foul disorder ; all the ground 
With shivered armour strown, and on a heap 
Chariot and charioteer lay overturned. 
And fiery-foaming steeds ; what stood, recoiled, 
O'er- wearied, through the faint Satanic host, 
Defensive scarce, or with pale fear surprised, 
Then first with fear surprised, and sense of pain, 
Fled ignominious, to such evil brought 
By sin of disobedience ; till that hour 
Not liable to fear, or flight, or pain. 
Far otherwise the inviolable Samts, 
In cubic phalanx firm advanced entire, 
Invulnerable, impenetrably armed. 
Such hifjh advantaijes their innocence 
Gave them above their foes ; not to have sinned, 
Not to have disobeyed ; in fight they stood 
Unwearied, unobnoxious to be pained 
By wound, though from their place by violence moved. 

N ow Night her course began, and, over heaven 
Inducing darkness, grateful truce' imposed. 
And silence on the odious din of war. 
Under her cloudy covert both retired, 
Victor and vanquished. On the foughten field 
Michael and his angels, prevalent 
Encamping, placed in guard their watches round 
Cherubic waving fires : on the other part, 
Satan with his rebellious disappeared, 
Far in the dark dislodged ; and, void oi rest, 

' Grateful truce. — Welcome truce. 


(.Book V 

His potentates to council called by night, 
And in the midst thus undismayed began : 

Oh now in danger tried, now known in arms 
Not to be overpowered, companions dear, 
Found worthy not of liberty alone, 
Too mean pretence ! but, what we more affect, 
Honour, dominion, glory, and renown : 
Who have sustained one day, in doubtful fight — 
And if one day, why not eternal days ? — 
What heaven's Lord had powerfulest to send 
Against us from about his throne, and judged 
Sufficient to subdue us to his will. 
But proves not so : then fallible, it seems, 
Of future' we may deem him, though, till now, 
Omniscient thought. True is,^ less firmly armed, 
Some disadvantage we endured, and pain, 
Till now not known, but, known, as soon contenmed ; 
Since now we find this our empyreal form 
Incapable of mortal injury, 

Imperishable, and, though pierced with wound, 
Soon closing, and by native vigour healed. 
Of evil, then, so small, as easy think 
The remedy. Perhaps more valid arms. 
Weapons more violent, when next we meet, 
May serve to better us, and worse our foes. 
Or equal what between us made the odds, 
In nature none. If other hidden cause 
Left them superior, while we can preserve 
Unhurt our minds, and understanding sound, 
Due search and consultation will disclose. 

He sat; and in the assembly next upstood 
Nisroch, of principalities the prime. 

Fallible of future. — Not knowing the future. 

• True is. — True it is. 

Book VI.— 448-481-] 


As one he stood escaped from cruel fight, 
Sore toiled, his riven arms to havoc hewn, 
And, cloudy in aspect, thus answering spake : 

Deliverer fi-om new Lords, leader to fi"ee 
Enjoyment of our rights as Gods ; yet hard 
For Gods, and too unequal work we find. 
Against unequal arms, to fight in pain, 
Against unpained, impassive ; from which evil 
Ruin must needs ensue. For what avails 
Valour or strength, though matchless, quelled with pain 
Which all subdues, and makes remiss the hands 
Of mightiest ? Sense of pleasure we may well 
Spare out of life, perhaps, and not repine. 
But live content, which is the calmest life ; 
But pain is perfect misery, the worst 
Of evils, and, excessive, overturns 
All patience. He who, therefore, can invent 
With what more forcible we may offend 
Our yet unwounded enemies, or arm 
Ourselves with like defence, to me deserves 
No less than for deliverance what we owe. 

Whereto, with look composed, Satan rep'ied : 
Not uninvented that, which thou aright 
Believest so main to our success, I bring. 
Which of us who beholds the brioht surface 
Of this ethereous mould whereon we stand, 
This continent of spacious heaven, adorned 
With plant, fruit, flower ambrosial, gems, and gold ; 
Whose eye so superficially surveys 

These things, as not to mind from" whence they grow, 

Deep under ground, materials dark and crude. 

Of spiritous and fiery spume ; till touched 

With heaven's ray, and tempered, they shoot forth 

So beauteous, opening to the ambient light ? 

158 PARADISE LOST. [Book VI.-482 -513. 

These, in their dark nativity, the deep 
Shall yield us, pregnant with infernal flame ; 
Which, into hollow' engines, long and round, 
Thick-rammed, at the other bore with touch of .fire 
Dilated and infuriate, shall send forth 
From far, with thundering noise, among our foes, 
•Such implements of mischief, as shall dash 
To pieces, and o'crwhelm, whatever stands 
Adverse, that they shall fear we have disarmed 
The Thunderer of His only dreaded bolt. 
Nor long shall be our labour : yet, ere dawn. 
Effect shall end our wish. Meanwhile revive ; 
Abandon fear ; to strength and counsel joined 
Think nothing hard, much less to be despaired. 

He ended ; and his words their drooping cheer 
Enlightened, and then* languished hope revived : 
The invention all admired, and each how he 
To be the inventor missed ; so easy it seemed 
Once found, which yet unfound most would have thought 
Impossible. Yet, haply, of thy race. 
In future days, if malice should abound. 
Some one, intent on mischief, or inspired 
With devilish machination, might devise 
Like instrument to plague the sons of men 
For sin, on war and mutual slaughter bent. 

Forthwith from council to the work they flew ; 
None arguing stood ; innumerable hands 
Were ready ; in a moment up they turned 
Wide the celestial soil, and saw beneath 
The originals of nature in their crude 
Conception ; sulphurous and nitrous foam 
They found ; they mingled, and, with subtle art, 

' Which, into holloiv, C^c. — That which ir, &c. 

Book VI.-s 14-546. PARADISE LOST. 1 59 

Concocted and adusted,' they reduced 

To blackest grain, and into store conveyed. 

Part hidden veins digged up (nor hath this earth 

Entrails unlike) of mineral and stone, 

Whereof to found their engines and their balls 

Of missive ruin ; part incentive reed 

Provide, pernicious with one touch to fire. 

So all, ere day-spring, under conscious night, 

Secret they finished, and in order set. 

With silent circumspection, unespied. 

Now when fair Morn orient in heaven appeared, 
Up rose the victor-angels, and to arms 
The matin trumpet sung ; in arms they stood 
Of golden panoply, refulgent host. 
Soon banded ; others from the dawning hills 
Looked round, and scouts each coast, light-armed, scour 
Each quarter, to descry the distant foe, 
Where lodged, or whither fled ; or if for fight 
In motion of in halt. Him soon they met, 
Under spread ensigns, moving nigh, in slow 
But firm battalion. Back, with speediest sail, 
Zophiel, of cherubim the swiftest wing. 
Came flying, and, in mid air, aloud thus cried : 

Arm, warriors, arm for fight. The foe at hand, 
Whom fled we thought, will save us long pursuit. 
This day, fear not his flight ; so thick a cloud 
He comes, and settled in his face I see 
Sad^ resolution, and secure.^ Let each 
His adamantine coat gird well, and each 
Fit well his helm, gripe fast his orbed shield. 
Borne even or high ; for this day will pour down, 
If I conjecture aught, no drizzling showei, 
But rattlinor storm of arrows barbed with fire. 


' A}id adusied. — Adustus, made to be as dust by fuc. ' Sad. — Grave, thoughtful. ' Secure. — Confident. 


[Book VI. 

So warned he them, aware themselves, and soon 
In order, quit of all impediment. 
Instant, without disturb,' they took alarm,^ 
And onward moved embattled : when, behold ! 
Not distant far, with heavy pace, the foe 
Approaching gross and huge, in hollow cube, 
Training his devilish enginery, impaled 
On every side with shadowing squadrons deep, 
To hide the fraud. At interview both stood 
Awhile ; but suddenly at head appeared 
Satan, and thus was heard commanding loud : 

Vanguard, to right and left the front unfold, 
That all may see who hate us, how we seek 
Peace and composure, and with open breast 
Stand ready to receive them, if they like 
Our overture, and turn not back perverse : 
But that I doubt. However, witness heaven ! 
Heaven, witness thou anon, while we discharge 
Freely our part. Ye, who appointed stand. 
Do as you have in charge, and briefly touch 
What we propound, and loud, that all may hear. 

So scoffing in ambiguous words, he scarce 
Had ended, when to right and left the front 
Divided, and to either flank retired : 
Which to our eyes discovered, new .and strange, 
A triple mounted row of pillars, laid 
On wheels (for like to pillars most they seemed. 
Or hollowed bodies made of oak or fir. 
With branches lopt, in wood or mountain felled). 
Brass, iron, stony mould, had not their mouths 
With hideous orifice gaped on us wide. 
Portending hollow truce. At each, behind. 

Disturb. — Disturoance. 

' They took alarm. — Took the warning. 

Book VI.— 579-610.] 



A seraph stood, and in his hand a reed 

Stood waving, tipt with fire ; while we, suspense,* 

Collected stood, within our thoughts amused,^ 

Not long, for sudden, all at once, their reeds 

Put forth, and to a narrow vent applied 

With nicest touch. Immediate, in a flame, 

But soon obscured with smoke, all heaven appeared, 

From those deep-throated engines belched, whose roar 

Embowelled with outrageous noise the air, 

And all her entrails tore, disgorging foul 

Their devilish glut, chained thunderbolts and hail 

Of iron globes ; which, on the victor host 

Levelled, with such impetuous fury smote. 

That whom they hit, none on their feet might stand, 

Though standing else as rocks, but down they fell 

By thousands. Angel on Archangel rolled. 

The sooner for their arms ; unarmed, they might 

Have easily, as spirits, evaded swift 

By quick contraction or remove ; but now 

Foul dissipation followed, and forced rout ; 

Nor served it to relax their serried files. 

What should they do ? If on they rushed, repulse 

Repeated, and indecent overthrow 

Doubled, would render them yet more despised. 

And to their foes a laughter ; for in view 

Stood ranked of seraphim another row. 

In posture to displode their second tire 

Of thunder : back defeated to return 

They worse abhorred. Satan beheld their plight. 

And to his mates thus in derision called : 

O friends ! why come not on these victors proud f 
Erewhile they fierce were coming ; and when we, 

Suspense. — In suspense. 

' Wiihin our thoughts amused. — Musing, wondering. 




[Book VI.— 611-644, 

To entertain them fair with open front 

And breast, — what could we more ? — propounded terms 

Of composition, straight they changed their minds, 

Flew off, and into strange vagaries fell. 

As they would dance. Yet for a dance they seemed 

Somewhat extravagant and wild ; perhaps, 

For joy of offered peace. But I suppose, 

If our proposals once again were heard, 

\V e should compel them to a quick result. 

To whom thus Belial, in like gamesome mood : 
Leader, the terms we sent were terms of weight. 
Of hard contents, and full of force urged home ; 
Such as we might perceive amused them all. 
And stumbled many. Who receives them right, 
Had need from head to foot well understand ; 
Not understood, this gift they have besides. 
They show us when our foes walk not upright. 

So they among themselves in pleasant vein 
Stood scoffing, lie.ightencd in their thoughts beyond 
All doubt of victory ; Eternal Might 
To match with their inventions they presumed 
So easy, and of his thunder made a scorn. 
And all his host derided, while they stood 
Awhile in trouble. But they stood not long. 
Rage prompted them at length, and found them arms 
Against such hellish mischief fit to oppose. 
Forthwith — behold the excellence, the power, 
Which God hath in his mighty angels placed ! 
Their arms away they threw, and to the hills — 
For earth hath this variety from heaven 
Of pleasure situate in hill and dale, — 
Light as the lightning glimpse, they ran, they flew ; 
From their foundations loosening to and fro, 
They plucked the seated hills, with all their load, 

VI.— 645-676.] 


Rocks, waters, woods, and by the shaggy tops 

UpHfting, bore them in their hands. Amaze, 

Be sure, and terror, seized the rebel host. 

When coming towards them so dread they saw 

The bottom of the mountains upward turned. 

Till on those cursed engines' triple row 

They saw them whelmed, and all their confidence 

Under the weight of mountains buried deep ; 

Themselves invaded next, and on their heads 

Main promontories flung, which in the air 

Came shadowing, and oppressed whole legions armed. 

Their armour helped their harm, crushed in and bruised 

Into their substance pent, which wrought them pain 

Implacable,' and many a dolorous groan. 

Long struggling underneath, ere they could wind 

Out of such prison, though spirits of purest light, 

Purest at first, now gross by sinning grown. 

The rest, in imitation, to like arms 

Betook them, and the neighbouring hiJls uptore : 

So hills amid the air encountered hills, 

Hurled to and fro with jaculation dire, 

That under ground they fought in dismal shade. 

Infernal noise! war seemed a civil game 

To this uproar : horrid confusion heaped 

Upon confusion rose. And now all heaven 

Had gone to wrack, with ruin overspread. 

Had not the Almighty Father, where He sits 

Shrined in his sanctuary of heaven secure, 

Consulting on the sum of things, foreseen 

This tumult, and permitted all, advised ; 

That his great purpose he might so fulfil. 

To honour his anointed Son avenged 

' Implacable. — Not to be assuaged 


iBooK VI.— 

Upon his enemies, and to declare 

All power on Him transferred. Whence to his Son, 

The assessor of his throne, he thus began : 

Effulgence of my glory, Son beloved, 
Son, in whose face invisible is beheld 
Visibly what by Deity I am, 
And in whose hand what by decree I do, 
Second Omnipotence ! two days are past. 
Two days, as we compute the days of heaven. 
Since Michael and his powers went forth to tame 
These disobedient. Sore hath been their fight, 
As likeliest was, when two such foes met armed : 
For to themselves I left them ; and thou knowest, 
Equal in their creation they were formed. 
Save what sin hath impaired, which yet hath wrought 
Insensibly, for I suspend their doom ; 
Whence in perpetual fight they needs must last 
Endless, and no solution will be found. 
War wearied hath performed what war can do. 
And to disordered rage let loose the reins. 
With mountains, as with weapons, armed ; which makes 
Wild work in heaven, and dangerous to the main." 
Two days are therefore past, the third is Thine ; 
For thee I have ordained it ; and thus far 
Have suffered, that the glory may be thine 
Of ending this great war, since none but Thou 
Can end it. Into thee such virtue and grace 
Immense I have transfused, that all may know 
In Heaven and Hell thy power above compare ; 
And this perverse commotion governed thus. 
To manifest Thee worthiest to be Heir 
Of all things ; to be Heir and to be King 

' To ihf. main. — To Heaven itself — as a whole. 

VI.— 709-740.] 


By sacred unction, thy deserved right. 

Go, then, thou Mightiest, in thy Father's might ; 

Ascend my chariot, guide the rapid wheels 

That shake heaven's basis, bring forth all my war, 

My bow and thunder ; my almighty arms 

Gird on, and sword upon thy puissant thigh ; 

Pursue these sons of darkness, drive them out 

From all heaven's bounds into the utter deep ; 

There let them learn, as likes them, to despise 

God, and Messiah, his anointed King. 

He said, and on his Son with rays direct 
Shone full ; He all his Father full expressed. 
Ineffably into his face received ; 
And thus the filial Godhead answering spake : 

O Father, O Supreme of heavenly Thrones, 
First, Highest, Holiest, Best, thou always seek'st 
To glorify thy Son ; I always Thee, 
As is most just. This I my glory account, 
My exaltation, and my whole delight, 
That thou, in me well pleased, declarest thy will 
Fulfilled, which to fulfil is all my bliss. 
Sceptre and power, thy giving, I assume. 
And o^ladlier shall resiijn, when in the end 
Thou shalt be all in all, and I in Thee 
For ever, and in me all whom thou lovest : 
But whom thou hatest, I hate, and can put on 
Thy terrors, as I put thy mildness on, 
Image of Thee in all things ; and shall soon, 
Armed with thy might, rid heaven of these rebelled,' 
To their prepared ill mansion driven down, 
To chains of darkness, and the undying worm. 
That from thy just obedience could revolt. 

' These rebelled. — Who have rebelled. 


Book VI.— 741-77?, 

Whom to obey is happiness entire. 

Then shall thy saints, unmixed, and from the Impure 

Far separate, circling thy holy mount. 

Unfeigned hallelujahs to Thee sing, 

Hymns of high praise, and I among them chief 

So said. He, o'er his sceptre bowing, rose 
From the right hand of glory where he sat ; 
And the third sacred morn began to shine, 
Dawninof throu<jh heaven. Forth rushed with whirlwind sound 
The chariot of Paternal Deity, 

Flashing thick flames, wheel within wheel undrawn. 

Itself instinct with spirit, but convoyed 

By four cherubic shapes. Four faces each 

Had wondrous ; as with stars, their bodies all, 

And wings, were set with eyes ; with eyes the wheels 

Of beryl, and careering fires between ; 

Over their heads a ciystal firmament, 

Whereon a sapphire throne, inlaid with pure 

Amber, and colours of the showery arch. 

He, in celestial panoply' all armed 

Of radiant Urim,' work divinely wrought, 

Ascended ; at his right hand Victory 

Sat, eagle-winged ; beside him hung his bow 

And quiver with three-bolted thunder stored ; 

And from about him fierce effusion rolled 

Of smoke, and bickering flame, and sparkles dire : 

Attended with ten thousand thousand saints, 

He onward came. Far off His coming shone; 

And twenty thousand — I their number heard — 

Chariots of God, half on each hand, were seen. 

He on the wings of cherub rode sublime. 

On the crystalline sky, in sapphire throned, 

' Of radiant U'^itn. — Aaron's breastplate was so called. The word means "brilliancy." 

Book VI.— 773-807.] 


Illustrious far and wide, but by his own 

First seen ; them unexpected joy surprised, 

When the fjreat ensiijn of Messiah blazed 

Aloft, by angels borne, His sign in heaven; 

Under whose conduct Michael soon reduced 

His army, circumfused on either wing. 

Under their Head embodied all in one. 

Before him Power Divine his way prepared ; 

At his command the uprooted hills retired 

Each to his place; they heard His voice, and went 

Obsequious : Heaven its wonted face renewed. 

And with fresh flow'rets hill and valley smiled. 

This saw his hapless foes, but stood obdured, 
And to rebellious fight rallied their powers, 
Insensate, hope conceiving from despair ! 
In heavenly spirits could such perverseness dwell ? 
But to convince the proud what signs avail, 
Or wonders move, the obdurate to relent ? 
They, hardened more by what might most reclaiii), 
Grieving to see His glory, at the sight 
Took envy, and, aspiring to His height. 
Stood re-embattled fierce, by force or fraud 
Weening to prosper, and at length prevail 
Against God and Messiah, or to fall 
In universal ruin last : and now 
To final battle drew, disdaining flight. 
Or faint retreat ; when the great Son of God 
To all his host on either hand thus spake : 

Stand still in bright array, ye saints ; here stand, 
Ye angels armed ; this day from battle rest. 
Faithful hath been your warfare, and of God 
Accepted, fearless in his righteous cause ; 
And as ye have received, so have ye done, 
Invincibly. But of this cursed crew 
The punishment to other hand belongs ; 


[Book VI.— 808-842- 

Vengeance is His, or whose He sole appoints. 
Number to this day's work is not ordained. 
Nor multitude ; stand only, and behold 
God's indignation on these godless poured 
By me ; not you, but me, they have despised, 
Yet envied ; against me is all their rage, 
Because the Father, to whom, in heaven supreme, 
Kingdom, and power, and glory, appertain. 
Hath honoured me, according to his will. 
Therefore to me their doom He hath assigned : 
That they may have their wish, to try with me 
In battle which the stronger proves ; they all. 
Or I alone against them ; since by strength 
They measure all, of other excellence 
Not emulous, nor care who them excels ; 
Nor other strife with them do I vouchsafe. 

So spake the Son, and into terror changed 
His countenance, too severe to be beheld, 
And full of wrath bent on his enemies. 
At once the four spread out their starry wings 
With dreadful shade contiguous, and the orbs 
Of his fierce chariot rolled, as with the sound 
Of torrent floods, or, of a numerous host. 
He on his impious foes right onward drove, 
Gloomy as night. Under his burning wheels 
The steadfast Empyrean shook throughout, 
All but the throne itself of God. Full soon 
Among them he arrived, in his right hand 
Grasping ten thousand thunders, which he sent 
Before him, such as in their souls infixed 
Plagues. They, astonished, all resistance lost, 
All courage ; down their idle weapons dropt. 
O'er shields, and helms, and helmed heads He rode — 
Of Thrones and mighty Seraphim prostrate ; 
That wished the mountains now micrht be ae^ain 

i>. 168. 

Nine days they fell. 

Book VI , line b-jl. 

/. i68, 

Hell at last, 
Yawning, received them whole. 

Book VI., lines S74, 875. 

Book VI.— 843-877.] 


Thrown on them, as a shelter from His ire. 

Nor less on either side tempestuous fell 

His arrows, from the fourfold-visaged four 

Distinct with eyes, and from the living wheels 

Distinct alike with multitude of eyes ; 

One spirit in them ruled, and every eye 

Glared lightning, and shot forth pernicious fire 

Among the accursed, that withered all their strength, 

And of their wonted vigour left them drained, 

Exhausted, spiritless, afflicted, fallen. 

Yet half his strength he put not forth, but checked 

His thunder in mid volley; for he meant 

Not to destroy, but root them out of heaven. 

The overthrown he raised, and as a herd 

Of goats or timorous flock together thronged, 

Drove them before him, thunderstruck, pursued 

With terrors, and with furies, to the bounds 

And crystal wall of Heaven ; which, opening wide, 

Rolled inward, and a spacious gap disclosed 

Into the wasteful Deep. The monstrous sight 

Struck them with horror backward, but far worse 

Urged them behind — headlong themselves they threw 

Down from the verge of Heaven ; eternal wrath 

Burnt after them to the bottomless pit. 

Hell heard the unsufferable noise ; Hell saw 
Heaven ruinino;; from Heaven, and would have fled 
Affrighted ; but strict Fate had cast too deep 
Her dark foundations, and too fast had bound. 
Nine days they fell ; confounded Chaos roared, 
And felt tenfold confusion in their fall 
Through his wild anarchy ; so huge a rout 
Encumbered him with ruin. Hell at last, 
Yawning, received them whole, and on them closed ; 
Hell, their fit habitation, fraught with fire 
Unquenchable, the house of woe and pain. 


I 70 PARADISE LOST. [I^ook VI.-878-912 

Disburdened Heaven rejoiced, and soon repaired 
Her mural breach, returning whence it rolled. 

Sole Victor, from the expulsion of his foes, 
Messiah his triumphal chariot turned. 
To meet Him, all his saints, who silent stood 
Eye-witnesses of his almighty acts, 
With jubilee advanced ; and, as they went, 
Shaded with branching palm, each order bright 
Sung triumph, and Him sung victorious King, 
Son, Heir, and Lord, to Him dominion given, 
Worthiest to reign. He, celebrated, rode 
Triumphant through mid heaven, into the courts 
And temple of his mighty Father throned 
On high ; who into glory Him received. 
Where now he sits at the riijht hand of bliss. 

Thus measuring things in heaven by things on earth. 
At thy request, and that thou may'st beware 
By what is past, to thee I have revealed 
What might have else to human race been hid : 
The discord which befell, and war in heaven 
Among the angelic powers, and the deep fall 
Of those, too high aspiring, who rebelled 
With Satan; he who envies now thy state, 
Who now is plotting how he may seduce 
Thee also froiti obedience, that with him, 
Bereaved of happiness, thou mayest partake 
His punishment, eternal misery; 
Which would be all his solace and revenge, 
As a despite done against the Most High, 
Thee once to gain companion of his woe. 
But listen not to his temptations, warn 
Thy weaker ; let it profit thee to have heard, 
By terrible example, the reward 
Of disobedience ; firm they might have stood. 
Yet fell ; remember, and fear to transgress. 


Raphael, at the request of Adam, relates how and wherefore this world was first created ; that God, after the expelling 
of Satan and His angels out of heaven, declared His pleasure to create another world, and other creatures to dwell 
therein ; sends His Son with glory, and attendance of angels, to perform the work of creation in six days : the angels 
celebrate with hymns the performance thereof, and His re-ascension into Heaven. 

DESCEND from heaven,' Urania — by that name 
If rightly thou art called — whose voice divine 
Following, above the Olympian hill I soar, 
Above the flicfht of PeQ^asean wino^. 

O o 

The meaning, not the name, I call ; for thou 
Nor of the Muses nine, nor on the top 
Of old Olympus dwellest, but, heavenly-born, 
Before the hills appeared, or fountain flowed, 
Thou with Eternal Wisdom^ didst converse. 
Wisdom thy sister, and with her didst play 
In presence of the Almighty Father, pleased 
With thy celestial song. Up led by thee, 
Into the Heaven of Heavens I have presumed. 
An earthly guest, and drawn Empyreal air. 
Thy tempering. With like safety guided down, 
Return me to my native element ; 
Lest from this flying steed unreined — as once 
Bellerophon, though from a lower clime — 
Dismounted, on the Aleian^ field I fall. 
Erroneous there to wander, and forlorn. 

' Descend from Heaven. — The theme of the poet now descends from heaven to earth, and he prays that the Muse, 
or inspiration, which has hitherto been his guide, may descend with him. Urania was one of the Greek muses, dwelling 
in Olympus, and Milton means to say that under that doubtful name he has sought aid that might enable him to treat 
of matters which Olympian inspiration could never reveal, and to soar beyond the flight of I'cgasus — the horse from 
whose back Bellerophon fell in his attempted flight towards heaven. 

^ Eternal Wisdovi. — Such was the inspiration the poet sought — that of the Eternal Word. 

' The Aleian field. — The field of wandering, in which Bellerophon roamed after his fall. 


[Book VII.— 21-51 

Half yet remains unsung, but narrower bound 
Within the visible diurnal sphere : 
Standing on earth, not rapt above the pole, 
More safe I s'mo- with mortal voice unchancred 
To hoarse or mute, though fallen on evil days, 
On evil days though fallen, and evil tongues ; 
In darkness, and with dangers compassed round, 
And solitude ; yet not alone, while thou 
Visit'st my slumbers nightly, or when Morn 
Purples the east. Still govern thou my song, 
Urania, and fit audience find, though few. 
But drive far off the barbarous dissonance 
Of Bacchus and his revellers, the race 
Of that wild rout that tore the Thracian bard' 
In Rodope, where woods and rocks had ears 
To rapture, till the savage clamour drowned 
Both harp and voice ; nor could the muse defend 
Her son. So fail not thou, who thee implores ; 
For thou art heavenly, she an empty dream. 

Say, goddess, what ensued when Raphael, 
The affable Archangel, had forewarned 
Adam, by dire example, to beware 
Apostasy, by w^hat befell in heaven 
To those apostates, lest the like befall 
In Paradise to Adam or his race. 
Charged not to touch the interdicted tree. 
If they transgress, and slight that sole command. 
So easily obeyed amid the choice 
Of all tastes else to please their appetite 
Though wandering. He, with his consorted Eve, 
The story heard attentive, and was filled 

' T7ie Thraciati bard. — The Thracians were said to have torn the poet Orpheus, the son of the Muse Calliope, to pieces. 
Milton here refers to the riotous cavaliers and courtiers of the time of Charles II., from whose hands he seems to have 
thought it possible that a similar fate might befall himselt. 

Book VII.— 52-82.] 



With admiration and deep muse,' to hear 

Of things so high and strange ; things to their thought 

So unimaginable as hate in heaven, 

And war so near the peace of God in bhss, 

With such confusion : but the evil, soon 

Driven back, redounded as a flood on those 

From whom it sprung, impossible to mix 

With blessedness. Whence Adam soon repealed^ 

The doubts that in his heart arose ; and now 

Led on, yet sinless, with desire to know 

What nearer might concern him, how this world 

Of heaven and earth conspicuous^ first began ; 

When, and whereof created ; for what cause ; 

What within Eden, or without, was done 

Before his memory, as one, whose drought 

Yet scarce allayed, still eyes the current stream, 

Whose liquid murmur heard, new thirst excites, 

Proceeded thus to ask his heavenly guest : 

Great things, and full of wonder in our ears, 
Far differing from this world, thou hast revealed, 
Divine interpreter ! by favour sent 
Down from the Empyrean, to forewarn 
Us timely of what might else have been our loss, 
Unknown, which human knowledge could not reach ; 
For which, to the infinitely Good we owe 
Immortal thanks, and His admonishment 
Receive, with solemn purpose to observe 
Immutably his sovereign will, the end 
Of what we are. But since thou hast vouchsafed 
Gently, for our instruction, to impart 
Things above earthly thought, which yet concerned 

' Willi admiration and deep muse. — With wonder and deep thought. 

= Repealed. — Possibly the word should be " repelled. ' That is certainly the idea intended to be conveved. 
* Conspic2ions. — Visible, present to the senses. 

174 PARADISE LOST. [Book VII.-8^-ii6. 

Our knowing, as to highest Wisdom seemed, 

Deien to descend now lower, and relate 

What may no less, perhaps, avail us known : 

How first began this heaven which we behold 

Distant so high, with moving fires adorned 

Innumerable ; and this which yields or fills 

All space, the ambient air wide interfused, 

Embracing round this florid earth : what cause 

Moved the Creator, in his holy rest 

Through all eternity, so late to build 

In Chaos; and the work begun, how soon 

Absolved ; if unforbid thou mayest unfold 

What we, not to explore the secrets, ask 

Of His eternal empire, but the more 

To magnify his works, the more we know. 

And the great light of day yet wants to run 

Much of his race, though steep. Suspense in heaven, 

Held by thy voice, thy potent voice, he hears, 

And longer* will delay, to hear thee tell 

His generation, and the rising birth 

Of nature from the unapparent deep ; 

Or if the star of evenino^ and the moon 

Haste to thy audience, night with her will bring 

Silence ; and sleep, listening to thee, will watch ; 

Or we can bid his absence, till thy song 

End, and dismiss thee ere the morning shine. 

Thus Adam his illustrious guest besought ; 
And thus the godlike Angel answered mild : 

This also thy request, with caution asked. 
Obtain ; though, to recount almighty works. 
What words or tongue of Seraph can suffice. 
Or heart of man suffice to comprehend ? 
Yet what thou canst attain, which best may serve 
To glorify the Maker, and infer 

Book VII.-117-148.I PARADISE" LOST. 

Thee' also happier, shall not be withheld 
Thy hearing ; such commission from above 
I have received, to answer thy desire 
Of knowledge within bounds ; beyond, abstain 
To ask ; nor let thine own inventions hope 
Things not revealed, which the invisible King, 
Only Omniscient, hath suppressed in night. 
To none communicable in Earth or Heaven. 
Enough is left besides to search and know ; 
But knowledge is as food, and needs no less 
Her temperance over appetite, to know 
In measure what the mind may well contain ; 
Oppresses else with surfeit, and soon turns 
Wisdom to folly, as nourishment to wind. 

Know then, that, after Lucifer from Heaven — 
So call him, brighter once amidst the host 
Of Angels, than that star the stars among — 
Fell with his flaming legions through the Deep 
Into his place, and the great Son returned 
Victorious with his saints, the Omnipotent 
Eternal Father from his throne beheld 
Their multitude, and to his Son thus spake : 

At least our envious foe hath failed, who thought 
All like himself rebellious ; by whose aid 
This inaccessible high strength, the seat 
Of Deity supreme, us dispossessed, 
He trusted to have seized, and into fraud 
Drew many, whom their place knows here no more, 
Yet far the greater part have kept, I see, 
Their station ; Heaven, yet populous, retains 
Number sufficient to possess her realms 
Though wide, and this high temple to frequent 

Infer //w.— Make thee— help thee to be. 

176 PARADISE LOST. [Book VIl.-i49-i«i. 

With ministeries due, and solemn rites. 
But, lest his heart exalt him in the harm 
Already done, to have dispeopled heaven, 
My damage fondly deemed, I can repair 
That detriment, if such it be, to lose 
Self-lost ; and in a moment will create 
Another world, out of one man a race 
Of men innumerable, there to dwell ; 
Not here, till by degrees of merit raised, 
They open to themselves at length the way 
Up hither, under long obedience tried. 

And Earth be changed to Heaven, and Heaven to Earth, 

One kingdom, joy and union without end. 

Meanwhile, inhabit lax,' ye Powers of Heaven ; 

And thou, my Word, begotten Son, by thee 

This I perform ; speak Thou, and be it done ! 

My overshadowing Spirit and might with thee 

I send along ; ride forth, and bid the deep 

Within appointed bounds be Heaven and Earth; 

Boundless the Deep, because I Am, who fill 

Infinitude ; nor vacuous the space, 

Though I, uncircumscribed myself, retire, 

And put not forth my goodness, which is free 

To act or not ; necessity and chance 

Approach not me, and what I will is fate. 

So spake the Almighty, and to what he spake, 
His Word, the filial Godhead, gave effect. 
Immediate are the acts of God, more swift 
Than time or motion ; but to human ears 
Cannot without process of speech be told. 
So told as earthly notion can receive. 
Great triumph and rejoicing were in Heaven, 
When such was heard declared the Almighty's will ; 

' Inhabit lax. — With ample space. 

Book VII.— 182-215.] 


Glory they sung to the Most High, good-will 
To future men, and in their dwellings peace : 
Glory to Him, whose just avenging ire 
Had driven out the ungodly from his sight 
And the habitations of the just ; to Him 
Glory and praise, whose wisdom had ordained 
Good out of evil to create ; instead 
Of spirits malign, a better race to bring 
Into their vacant room, and thence diffuse 
His fjood to worlds and aa;es infinite. 

So sang the Hierarchies. Meanwhile the Son 
On his great expedition now appeared, 
Girt with omnipotence, with radiance crowned 
Of majesty divine, sapience and love 
Immense, and all His Father in him shone. 
About His chariot numberless were poured 
Cherub and Seraph, Potentates and Thrones, 
And Virtues, winged Spirits, and Chariots winged 
From the armoury of God ; where stand of old 
Myriads, between two brazen mountains lodged 
Against a solemn day, harnessed at hand. 
Celestial equipage ; and now come forth, 
Spontaneous, for within them spirit lived. 
Attendant on their Lord. Heaven opened wide 
Her ever-during gates, harmonious sound. 
On golden hinges moving, to let forth 
The King of Glory in his powerful Word 
And Spirit, coming to create new worlds. 
On heavenly ground they stood ; and from the shore 
They viewed the vast immeasurable Abyss 
Outrageous as a sea, dark, wasteful, wild 
Up from the bottom turned by furious winds 
And surging waves, as mountains, to assault 
Heaven's height, and with the centre mix the pole. 



[Book VH — 216 249. 

Silence, ye troubled waves, and thou Deep, peace, 
Said then the omnific • Word, your discord end! 
Nor stayed ; but on the wings of cherubim 
Uplifted, in paternal glory rode 
Far into Chaos, and the World unborn ; 
For Chaos heard his voice. Him all his train 
Followed in bright procession, to behold 
Creation, and the wonders of his might. 
Then stayed the fervid wheels, and in his hand 
He took the golden compasses, prepared 
In God's eternal store, to circumscribe 
This Universe, and all created things. 
One foot he centred, and the other turned 
Round through the vast profundity obscure. 
And said — Thus far extend, thus far thy bounds, 
This be thy just circumference, O world ! 

Thus God the heaven created, thus the earth, 
Matter unformed and void. Darkness profound 
Covered the abyss ; but on the watery calm 
His brooding wings the Spirit of God outspread. 
And vital virtue infused, and vital warmth. 
Throughout the fluid mass ; but downward purged 
The black, tartareous, cold, infernal dregs,- 
Adverse to life : then founded, then conglobed 
Like things to like ; the rest to several place 
Disparted, and between spun out the air ; 
And earth, self-balanced, on her centre hung. 

Let there be light, said God ; and forthwith light 
Ethereal, first of things, quintessence pure, 
Sprung from the deep ; and from her native east 
To journey through the aery gloom began. 
Sphered in a radiant cloud — for yet the sun 
Was not — she in a cloudy tabernacle 
Sojourned the while. God saw the light was good ; 

VII.— 250-283.] 


And light from darkness by the hemisphere 

Divided. Light, the Day, and darkness, Night, 

He named. Thus was the first day even and morn ; 

Nor passed uncelebrated, nor unsung 

By the celestial choirs, when orient light 

Exhaling first fi"om darkness they beheld, 

Birth-day of heaven and earth, with joy and shout 

The hollow universal orb they filled. 

And touched their golden harps, and hymning praised 

God and his works: Creator Hixn they sung. 

Both when first evening was, and when first morn. 

Again, God said : — Let there be firmament 
Amid the waters, and let it divide 
The waters from the waters ; and God made 
The firmament, expanse of liquid pure, 
Transparent, elemental air, diffused 
In circuit to the uttermost convex 
Of this great round ; partition firm and sure, 
The waters underneath from those above 
Dividing : for as earth, so He the world 
Built on circumfluous waters, calm, in wide 
Crystalline ocean, and the loud misrule 
Of Chaos far removed, lest fierce extremes 
Contiguous might distemper the whole frame. 
And heaven He named the firmament. So even 
And morning chorus sung the second day. 

The earth was formed, but in the womb as yet 
Of waters, embryon immature involved. 
Appeared not ; over all the face of earth 
Main ocean flowed, not idle, but with warm 
Prolific humour softening all her globe, 
Fermented the great mother to conceive. 
Satiate with genial moisture ; when God said, 
Be gathered now, ye waters under heaven, 



[Book VII.— 284-314. 

Into one place, and let dry land appear. 

Immediately the mountains huge appear 

Emergent, and their broad bare backs upheave 

Into the clouds ; their tops ascend the sky. 

So high as heaved the tumid hills, so low 

Down sunk a hollow bottom broad and deep, 

Capacious bed of waters. Thither they 

Hasted with glad precipitance, uprolled. 

As drops on dust conglobing from the dry ; 

Part rise in crystal wall, or ridge direct, 

For haste ; such flight the great command impressed 

On the swift floods ; as armies at the call 

Of trumpet — for of armies thou hast heard — , 

Troop to their standard, so the watery throng, 

Wave rolling after wave, where way they found ; 

If steep, with torrent rapture;' if through plain, 

Soft ebbing : nor withstood them rock or hill ; 

But they, or under ground, or circuit wide 

With serpent error wandering,^ found their way. 

And on the washy ooze deep channels wore ; 

Easy, ere God had bid the ground be dry, 

All but within those banks, where rivers now 

Stream, and perpetual draw their humid train. 

The dry land, Earth, and the great receptacle 

Of congregated waters. He called Seas ; 

And saw that it was good ; and said : — Let the earth 

Put forth the verdant grass, herb yielding seed. 

And fruit-tree yielding fruit aftef her kind, 

Whose seed is in herself upon the earth. 

He scarce had said, when the bare earth, till then 

Desert and bare, unsightly, unadorned, 

' W/i/i torient rapture. — Torrent which forces everything from its path. 

^ With serpent error watuieriiig. — An obscure expression. A winding path might be ^escribed as serpentine ,■ but 
why is it said to be erroneous ? Perhaps because it seems to suppose action and reaction, which itself supposes impeifect 

Book VII.— 315-346.] 



Brought forth the tender grass, whose verdure clad 

Her universal face with pleasant green ; 

Then herbs of every leaf, that sudden flowered, 

Opening their various colours, and made gay 

Her bosom, smelling sweet ; and, these scarce blown, 

Forth flourished thick the clustering vine, forth crept 

The swelling gourd, up stood the corny reed 

Embattled in her field, and the humble shrub, 

And bush with frizzled hair implicit last 

Rose, as in dance, the stately trees, and spread 

Their branches, hung with copious fruit, or gemmed 

Their blossoms. With high woods the hills were crowned. 

With tufts the valleys, and each fountain side ; 

With borders long the rivers ; that Earth now 

Seemed like to Heaven, a seat where Gods might dwell, 

Or wander with delight, and love to haunt 

Her sacred shades ; though God had yet not rained 

Upon the earth, and man to till the ground 

None was, but from the earth a dewy mist 

Went up, and watered all the ground, and each 

Plant of the field ; which, ere it was in the earth, 

God made, and every herb, before it grew 

On the green stem. God saw that it was good : 

So even and morn recorded the third day. 

Again the Almighty spake : — Let there be lights 
High in the expanse of heaven, to divide 
The day from night ; and let them be for signs, 
For seasons, and for days, and circling years ; 
And let them be for lights, as I ordain 
Their office in the firmament of heaven. 
To give light on the earth ; and it was so. 
And God made two great lights, great for their use 

Frizzled hait implicit. — Implicitus — entangled. (Latin.) 



FBooK VII.— 347-377. 

To man, the greater to have rule by day, 

The less by night, altern and made the stars, 

And set them in the firmament of heaven 

To illuminate the earth, and rule the day 

In their vicissitude, and rule the night. 

And light from darkness to divide. God saw, 

Surveying his great work, that it was good : 

For, of celestial bodies, first the sun, 

A mighty sphere, he framed, unlightsome'' first, 

Though of ethereal mould ; then formed the moon 

Globose, and every magnitude of Stars, 

And. sowed with stars the heaven, thick as a field. 

Of light by far the greater part he took. 

Transplanted from her cloudy shrine, and placed 

In the sun's orb, made porous to receive 

And drink the liquid light ; firm to retain 

Her gathered beams, great palace now of light. 

Hither, as to their fountain, other stars 

Repairing, in their golden urns draw light, 

And hence the morning planet gilds her horns ; 

By tincture or reflection they augment^ 

Their small peculiar, though from human sight 

So far remote, with diminution seen. 

First in his east the glorious lamp was seen, 

Regent of day, and all the horizon round 

Invested with bright rays, jocund to run 

His longitude through heaven's high road ; the grey 

Dawn, and the Pleiades, before him danced. 

Shedding sweet influence. Less bright the moon, 

But opposite in levelled west was set, 

His mirror, with full face borrowing her light 

' A Kern. — Alternately. 

' Unlightsome. — Not luminous. 

' By tincture or reflection they augment. — The liorns of Venus, which are tinged and magnified by the 

And God said: Let the waters generate 
Reptile with spawn abundant, living soul ; 
And let fowl fly above the earth. 

Book VII., lines 3S7- 

Book VU.— 378-411.] 



From him ; for other Hght she needed none 

In that aspect, and still that distance keeps 

Till night ; then in the east her turn she shines, 

Revolved on heaven's great axle, and her reign 

With thousand lesser lights dividual holds, 

With thousand thousand stars, that then appeared 

Spangling the hemisphere. Then first adorned 

With her bright luminaries, that set and rose, 

Glad evening and glad morn crowned the fourth day. 

And God said : — Let the waters generate 
Reptile with spawn abundant, living soul ; 
And let fowl fly above the earth, with wings 
Displayed on the open firmament of heaven. 
And God created the great whales, and each 
Soul living, each that crept, which plenteously 
The waters generated by their kinds. 
And every bird of wing after his kind, 
And saw that it was good, and blessed them, saying : — 
Be fruitful, multiply, and in the seas. 
And lakes, and running streams, the waters fill, 
And let the fowl be multiplied on the earth. 
Forthwith the sounds and seas, each creek and bay. 
With fry innumerable swarm, and shoals 
Of fish that, with their fins, and shining scales, 
Glide under the green wave, in sculls that oft 
Bank the mid-sea. Part single, or with mate, 
Graze the sea-weed their pasture, and through groves 
Of coral stray ; or, sporting with quick glance, 
Show to the sun their waved coats, dropt with gold ; 
Or, in their pearly shells at ease, attend 
Moist nutriment ; or under rocks their food. 
In jointed armour, watch ; on smooth, the seal 
And bended dolphins play ; part, huge of bulk, 
Wallowing unwieldy, enormous in their gait. 

184 PARADISE LOST. [Book VI 1.-4.2-440 

Tempest the ocean.' There leviathan," 

Hugest of living creatures, on the deep 

Stretched like a promontory, sleeps or swims, 

And seems a moving land ; and at his gills 

Draws in, and at his trunk spouts out, a sea. 

Meanwhile the tepid caves, and fens, and shores, 

Their brood as numerous hatch from the egg that soon, 

Bursting with kindly rupture, forth disclosed 

Their callow young ;^ but feathered soon and fledge 

They summed their pens,'^ and, soaring the air sublime, 

With clang despised the ground, under a cloud 

In prospect. There the eagle and the stork 

On cliffs and cedar-tops their eyries build : 

Part loosely wing the region ; part, more wise, 

In common, ranged in figure, wedge their way, 

Intelligent of seasons, and set forth 

Their aery caravan, high over seas 

Flying, and over lands, with mutual wing 

Easing their flight — so steers the prudent crane 

Her annual voyage, borne on winds — the air 

Floats as they pass, fanned with unnumbered plumes ; 

From branch to branch the smaller birds with song 

Solaced the woods, and spread their painted wings 

Till even ; nor then the solemn niorhtinorale 

Ceased warbling, but all night tuned her soft lays. 

Others, on silver lakes and rivers, bathed 

Their downy breast ; the swan with arched neck, 

Between her white wings, mantling proudly,^ rows 

Her state with oary feet ;^ yet oft they quit 

' Tempest the ocean. — From the Italian tempestare — bring tempest to it. 

" The huge dolphin tempesting the wave." — Pope. 

- Leviathan. — The whale seems to be intended. 

' Tlicir callow young. — Young resembling birds unfledged. 

* They summed their pens. — Summed is a word from falconry. The sense here is — put on their wing feath.ers. 
' Mantling proudly. — A term in falconry for spreading the wings like a mantle. 
° Oary /ej>t. — Feet which act like oars. 

p. 184. 

And seems a moving land ; and at his gills 
Draws in, and at his trunk spouts out, a sea. 

Book I' J I , lini:s 415, 4 1 6. 

Meanwhile the tepid caves, and fens, and shores, 
Their brood as numerous hatch. 

Book VII., lines 417, 418. 

Book VII.— 441-471.] 



The dank, and, rising on stiff pennons, tower 

The mid aerial sky. Others on ground 

Walked firm ; the crested cock, whose clarion sounds 

The silent hours, and the other, whose gay train 

Adorns him, coloured with' the florid hue 

Of rainbows and starry eyes. The waters thus • 

With fish replenished, and the air with fowl. 

Evening and morn solemnised the fifth day. 

The sixth, and of creation last, arose 
With evening harps and matin ; when God said. 
Let the earth bring forth soul living in her kind, 
Cattle, and creeping things, and beast of the earth. 
Each in their kind. The earth obeyed, and straight 
Opening her fertile womb, teemed at a birth 
Innumerous living creatures, perfect forms, 
Limbed and full-grown. Out of the ground up rose, 
As from his lair, the wild beast, where he wons^ 
In forest wild, in thicket, brake, or den; 
Among the trees in pairs they rose, they walked ; 
The cattle in the fields and meadows green : 
Those rare and solitary, these in flocks 
Pasturing at once, and in broad herds upsprung. 
The grassy clods now calved ;^ now half appeared 
The tawny lion, pawing to get free 
LI is hinder parts, then springs, as broke from bonds, 
And rampant shakes his brinded main ; the ounce. 
The libbard, and the tiger, as the mole. 
Rising, the crumbled earth above them threw 
In hillocks; the swift stag from underground 
Bore up his branching head ; scarce from his mould 
Behemoth, biggest born of earth,"^ upheaved 

' Coloured with the florid hue of rainbows. — The peacock. 
' Where he wons. — Anglo-Saxon for dwells. 

' The grassy clods now calved. — Calved is an old English expression for bringing forth generally. Thus the hinds 
are said to calve. (Job xxxix. ; Psalm xxix.) We read also of the calves of the lips. (Hosea xiv.) 

< Behemoth, biggest born of earth, — Behemoth in Job is the hippopotamus, the river-horse— here it means the elephant. 



[Book VII. — 472-505. 

His vastness ; fleeced the flocks and bleating rose, 

As plants ; ambiguous between sea and land, 

The river-horse, and scaly crocodile. 

At once came forth whatever creeps the ground, 

Insect or worm. Those waved their limber fans 

For wings, and smallest lineaments exact 

In all the liveries decked of summer's pride, 

With spots of gold and purple, azure and green : 

These, as a line, their long dimension drew, 

Streaking the ground with sinuous trace : not ail 

Minims of nature ; some of serpent kind. 

Wondrous in length and corpulence, involved 

Their snaky folds, and added wings. First crept 

The parsimonious emmet, provident 

Of future ; in small room large heart enclosed ; 

Pattern of just equality, perhaps. 

Hereafter joined in her popular tribes 

Of commonalty. Swarming, next appeared 

The female bee, that feeds her husband drone 

Dellciously, and builds her waxen cells 

With honey stored. The rest are nurnberless. 

And thou their natures know'st, and gavest them names. 

Needless to thee repeated ; nor unknown 

The serpent, subdest beast of all the field, 

Of huge extent sometimes, with brazen eyes 

And airy mane terrific, though to thee 

Not noxious, but obedient at thy call. 

Now heaven in all her glory shone, and rolled 
Her motions, as the great first Mover's hand 
First wheeled their course ; earth in her rich attire 
Consummate lovely smiled ; air, water, earth, 
By fowl, fish, beast, was flown, was swam, was walked, 
Frequent ; and of the sixth day yet remained. 
There wanted yet the master-work, the end 

Book VII. — 506-539.] 



Of all yet done ; a creature, who, not prone 

And brute, as other creatures, but endued 

With sanctity of reason, might erect 

His stature, and upright, with front serene. 

Govern the rest, self-knowing ; and from thence 

Magnanimous, to correspond with Heaven ; 

But grateful to acknowledge whence his good 

Descends ; thither, with heart, and voice, and eyes, 

Directed in devotion, to adore 

And worship God supreme, who made him chief 

Of all his works : therefore the Omnipotent 

Eternal Father — for where is not He 

Present ? — thus to his Son audibly spake : 

Let us make now Man in our image, man 
In our similitude, and let them rule 
Over the fish and fowl of sea and air, 
Beast of the field, and over all the earth. 
And every creeping thing that creeps the ground. 
This said, he formed thee, Adam, thee, O man, 
Dust of the ground, and in thy nostrils breathed 
The breath of life ; in His own image he 
Created thee, in the image of God 
Express, and thou becamest a living soul. 
Male he created thee ; but thy consort. 
Female, for race ; then blessed mankind, and said, 
Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the Earth, 
Subdue it, and throughout dominion hold 
Over fish of the sea, and fowl of the air. 
And every living thing that moves on the earth. 
Wherever thus created, for no place 
Is yet distinct by name, thence, as thou know'st, 
He brought thee into this delicious grove. 
This garden planted with the trees of God, 
Delectable both to behold and taste ; 



[Hook VII. — 540-573. 

And freely all their pleasant fruit for food 

Gave thee. All sorts are here that all the earth yields, 

Variety without end. But of the tree, 

Which, tasted, works knowledge of good and evil, 

Thou mayest not ; in the day thou eat'st thou diest, 

Death is the penalty imposed. Beware, 

And govern well thy appetite ; lest Sin 

Surprise thee, and her black attendant, Death. 

Here finished He, and all that he had made 
Viewed, and behold all was entirely good. 
So even and morn accomplished the sixth day. 
Yet not till the Creator, from his work 
Desisting, though unwearied, up returned. 
Up to the Heaven of Heavens, his high abode, 
Thence to behold this new created world. 
The addition of his empire, how it shewed 
In prospect from his throne, how good, how fair, 
Answering His great idea. Up he rode. 
Followed with acclamation, and the sound 
Symphonious of ten thousand harps, that tuned 
Angelic harmonies. The earth, the air 
Resounded — thou remember'st, for thou heardst — 
The heavens and all the constellations rung, 
The planets in their station listening stood. 
While the bright pomp ascended jubilant. 
Open, ye everlasting gates ! they sung, 
Open, ye heavens ! your living doors ; let in 
The great Creator, from his work returned 
Magnificent, his six days' work, a world ; 
Open, and henceforth oft ; for God will deign 
To visit oft the dwellings of just men, 
Delighted, and with frequent intercourse 
Thither will send his winged messengers 
On errands of supernal grace. So sung 

/. 1 88. 

And now on earth the seventh 
Evening arose in Eden. 

Book VII., Hues 581, 582, 

VII. — 574-607.] 


The glorious train ascending. He, through heaven, 

That opened wide her blazing portals, led 

To God's eternal house direct the way — 

A broad and ample road, whose dust is gold, 

And pavement stars, as stars to thee appear, 

Seen in the galaxy, that milky way. 

Which nightly, as a circling zone, thou seest 

Powdered with stars. And now on earth the seventh 

Evening arose in Eden, for the sun 

Was set, and twilight from the east came on, 

Forerunning night ; when at the holy mount 

Of heaven's high-seated top, the imperial throne 

Of Godhead fixed for ever firm and sure, 

The Filial Power arrived, and sat him down 

With his great Father, for He also went 

.Invisible, yet stayed — such privilege 

Hath Omnipresence — and the work ordained. 

Author and end of all things : and, from work 

Now resting, blessed and hallowed the seventh day. 

As resting on that day from all his work. 

But not in silence holy kept : the harp 

Had work, and rested not ; the solemn pipe, 

And dulcimer, all organs of sweet stop. 

All sounds on fret by string or golden wire. 

Tempered soft tunings, intermixed with voice 

Choral or unison : of incense clouds. 

Fuming from golden censers, hid the mount. 

Creation and the six days' acts they sung : 

Great are thy works, Jehovah ! infinite 

Thy power ! what thought can measure Thee, or tong 

Relate Thee ? Greater now in thy return 

Than from the giant Angels. Thee that day 

Thy thunders magnified ; but to create 

Is greater than, created, to destroy. 



Who can impair Thee, Mighty King, or bound 

Thy empire ? Easily the proud attempt 

Of spirits apostate, and their counsels vain, 

Thou hast repelled ; while impiously they thought 

Thee to diminish, and from thee withdraw 

The number of thy worshippers. Who seeks 

To lessen Thee, against his purpose serves 

To manifest the more thy might : his evil 

Thou usest, and from thence createst more good. 

Witness this new-made world, another heaven, 

From Heaven-gate not far, founded, in view, 

On the clear hyaline,' the glassy sea ; 

Of amplitude almost immense, with stars 

Numerous, and every star, perhaps, a world 

Of destined habitation ; but thou know'st 

Their seasons. Among these the scat of men, 

Earth with her nether ocean circumfused, 

Their pleasant dwelling-place. Thrice happy men 

And sons of men, whom God hath thus advanced 

Created in His image there to dwell 

And worship him ; and in reward to rule 

Over his works, on earth, in sea, or air, 

And multiply a race of worshippers 

Holy and just ; thrice happy, if they know 

Their happiness, and persevere upright ! 

So sung they, and the Empyrean rung 
With hallelujahs : thus was Sabbath kept. 
And thy request think now fulfilled, that asked 
How first this world and face of things began. 
And what before thy memory was done 
From the beginning, that posterity, 
Informed by thee, might know — if else thou seek'st 
Aught not surpassing human measure, say. 

Hyaline. — ^"TaXof, glass, the glassy sea. 


Adam inquires concerning celestial motions ; is doubtfully answered, and exhorted to search rather things more worthy 
of knowledge; Adam assents; and, still desirous to detain Raphael, relates to him what he remembeisd since his 
own creation ; his placing in Paradise ; his talk with God concerning solitude and fit society ; his first meeting and 
nuptials with Eve ; his discourse with the angel thereupon, who, after admonitions repeated, departs. 

THE angel ended, and in Adam's ear 
So charming left his voice, that he awhile 
Thought him still speaking, still stood fixed to hear 
Then, as new-waked, thus gratefully replied : 

What thanks sufficient, or what recompense 
Equal, have I to render thee, divine 
Historian, who thus largely hast allayed 
The thirst I had of knowledge, and vouchsafed 
This friendly condescension, to relate 
Things else by me unsearchable ; now heard 
With wonder, but delight, and, as is due, 
With glory attributed to the high 
Creator ? Something yet of doubt remains, 
Which only thy solution can resolve. 
When I behold this goodly frame, this world. 
Of Heaven and Earth consisting, and compute 
Their magnitudes ; this earth, a spot, a grain, 
An atom, with the firmament compared 
And all her numbered stars, that seem to roll 
Spaces incomprehensible — for such 
Their distance argues, and their swift return 
Diurnal — merely to officiate light 
Round this opacous earth, this punctual spot,"" 

' stood fixed to hear. — "Stood" here should evidently have been "sat." The first three lines ol this book were 
introduced in the second edition, in which the poem was made to consist of twelve books instead of ten. 
- Tliis punctual spot. — Punctum, a mere point in comparison with the universe. 


[Book VIII. 

One day and night ; in all their vast survey 
Useless besides ; reasoning, I oft admire, 
How nature, wise and frugal, could commit 
Such disproportions, with superfluous hand 
So many nobler bodies to create. 
Greater, so manifold, to this one use, 
For aught appears, and on their orbs impose 
Such restless revolution, day by day 
Repeated ; while the sedentary earth, 
That better might with far less compass move, 
Served by more noble than herself, attains 
Her end without least motion, and receives. 
As tribute, such a sumless journey brought 
Of incorporeal speed, her warmth and light — 
Speed, to describe whose swiftness number fails. 

So spake our sire, and by his countenance seemed 
Entering on studious thoughts abstruse ; which Eve 
Perceiving, where she sat retired in sight, 
With lowliness majestic from her seat. 
And grace that won who saw to wish her stay. 
Rose, and went forth among her fruits and flowers, 
To visit how they prospered, bud and bloom. 
Her nursery; they at her coming sprung. 
And, touched by her fair tendance, gladlier grew. 
Yet went she not, as not with such discourse 
Delighted, or not capable her ear 
Of what was high : such pleasure she reserved, 
Adam relating, she sole auditress ; 
Her husband the relater she preferred 
Before the angel, and of him to ask 
Chose rather ; he, she knew, would intermix 
Grateful digressions, and solve high dispute 
With conjugal caresses from his lip. 
Not words alone pfeased her. O ! when meet now 

Book VIII— 58-91.] 


Such pairs, in love and mutual honour joined ? 
With goddess-like demeanour forth she went, 
Not unattended, for on her, as queen, 
A pomp of winning graces waited still. 
And from about her shot darts of desire 
Into all eyes, to wish her still in sight. 
And Raphael now, to Adam's doubt proposed, 
Benevolent and facile thus replied : 

To ask or search, I blame thee not ; for heaven 
Is as the book of God before thee set, 
Wherein to read his wondrous works, and learn 
His seasons, hours, or days, or months, or years. 
This to attain, whether heaven move or earth, 
Imports not, if thou reckon right ; the rest 
From man or angel the great Architect 
Did wisely to conceal, and not divulge 
His secrets, to be scanned by them who ought 
Rather admire ; or, if they list to try 
Conjecture, he his fabric of the heavens 
Hath left to their disputes — perhaps to move 
His laughter at their quaint opinions wide 
Hereafter, when they come to model heaven 
And calculate the stars, how they will wield 
The mighty frame, how build, unbuild, contrive, 
To save appearances, how gird the sphere 
With centric and eccentric scribbled o'er. 
Cycle and epicyle, orb in orb. 
Already by thy reasoning this I guess. 
Who art to lead thy offspring, and supposest 
That bodies brifjht and orreater should not serve 
The less, not bright ; nor heaven such journeys run, 
Earth sitting still, when she alone receives 
The benefit. Consider first, that great 
Or bright infeis not excellence : the earth, 




Though, in comparison of heaven, so small. 

Nor glistering, may of solid good contain 

More plenty than the sun that barren shines ; 

Whose virtue on itself works no effect. 

But in the fruitful earth, there first received, 

His beams, inactive else, their vigour find. 

Yet not to earth are those bright luminaries 

Officious, but to thee, earth's habitant. 

And for the heaven's wide circuit, let it speak 

The Maker's high magnificence, who built 

So spacious, and his line stretched out so far, 

That man may know he dwells not in his own, 

An edifice too large for him to fill. 

Lodged in a small partition, and the rest 

Ordained for uses to his Lord best known. 

The swiftness of those circles attribute, 

Though numberless, to his omnipotence, 

That to corporeal substances could add 

Speed almost spiritual. Me thou think'st not slow, 

Who since the morning hour set out from Heaven, 

Where God resides, and ere mid-day arrived 

In Eden — distance inexpressible 

By numbers that have name. But this I urge. 

Admitting motion in the heavens, to shew 

Invalid that which thee to doubt it moved; 

Not that I so affirm, though so it seem 

To thee who hast thy dwelling here on earth. 

God, to remove his ways from human sense. 

Placed heaven from earth so far, that earthly sight. 

If it presume, might err in things too high. 

And no advantag^e g^ain. What if the sun 

Be centre to the world, and other stars, 

By his attractive virtue and their own 

Incited, dance about him various rounds ! 

Book VIII.— 126-157.] 


Their wandering course, now high, now low, then hid, 

Progressive, retrograde, or standing still. 

In six thou seest ; and what if seventh to these. 

The planet Earth, so steadfast though she seem, 

Insensibly three different motions move ? 

Which else to several spheres thou must ascribe, 

Moved contrary with thwart obliquities ; 

Or save the sun his labour, and that swift 

Nocturnal and diurnal rhomb' supposed. 

Invisible else above all stars, the wheel 

Of day and night ; which needs not thy belief, 

If earth, industrious of herself, fetch day 

Travelling east, and with her part averse 

From the sun's beam m.eet night, her other part 

Still luminous by his ray. What if that light. 

Sent from her through the wide transpicuous air, 

To the terrestrial moon be as a star, 

Enlightening her by day, as she by night 

This earth ? reciprocal, if land be there, 

Fields and inhabitants. Her spots thou seest 

As clouds, and clouds may rain, and rain produce 

Fruits in her softened soil, for some to eat 

Allotted there ; and other suns, perhaps. 

With their attendant moons, thou wilt descry. 

Communicating male and female light, 

Which two great sexes animate the world, 

Stored in each orb, perhaps, with some that live. 

For such vast room in nature^ unpossessed 

By living soul, desert and desolate, 

Only to shine, yet scarce to contribute 

Each orb a glimpse of light, conveyed so far 

Down to this habitable, which returns 

' Diurnal rhomb. — A term in geometiy denoting obliqueness. 

* For such vast room in nature. — For that such vast room there is in nature. 


[Book VIII.— 158-191. 

Light back to them, is obvious to dispute. 

But whether thus these things, or whether not ; 

Whether the sun, predominant in heaven, 

Rise on the earth, or earth rise on the sun, • 

He from the east his flaming road begin. 

Or she from west her silent course advance, 

With inoffensive pace that spinning sleeps 

On her soft axle, while she paces even, 

And bears thee soft with the smooth air along. 

Solicit not thy thoughts with matters hid. 

Leave them to God above. Him serve and fear. 

Qf other creatures, as Him pleases best, 

Wherever placed, let Him dispose ; joy thou 

In what he gives to thee, this Paradise 

And thy fair Eve ; heaven is for thee too high 

To know what passes there ; be lowly wise : 

Think only what concerns thee, and thy being ; 

Dream not of other worlds, what creatures there 

Live, in what state, condition, or degree. 

Contented that thus far hath been revealed. 

Not of earth only, but of Highest Heaven. 

To whom thus Adam, cleared of doubt, replied : 
How fully hast thou satisfied me, pure 
Litelligence of heaven. Angel serene ! 
And, freed from intricacies, taught to live 
The easiest way, nor with perplexing thoughts 
To interrupt the sweet of life, from which 
God hath bid dwell far off all anxious cares. 
And not molest us, unless we ourselves 
Seek them with wandering thoughts, and notions vain. 
But apt the mind or fancy is to rove 
Unchecked, and of her roving is no end ; 
Till warned, or by experience taught, she learn, 
That not to know at larg-e of thinors remote 

Book VIII. — 192-223.J 



From use, obscure and subtle, but to know 

That which before us lies in daily life. 

Is the prime wisdom : what is more, is fume, 

Or emptiness, or fond impertinence, 

And renders us, in things that most concern, 

Unpractised, unprepared, and still to seek. 

Therefore from this high pitch let us descend 

A lower flight, and speak of things at hand, 

Useful, whence, haply, mention may arise 

Of something not unseasonable to ask. 

By sufferance, and thy wonted favour, deigned. 

Thee I have heard relating what was done 

Ere my remembrance. Now, hear me relate 

My story, which, perhaps, thou hast not heard ; 

And day is yet not spent, till then thou seest 

How subtly to detain thee I devise. 

Inviting thee to hear while I relate ; 

Fond,' were it not in hope of thy reply. 

For, while I sit with thee, I seem in heaven ; 

And sweeter thy discourse is to my ear 

Than fruits of palm-tree pleasantest to thirst 

And hunger both, from labour, at the hour 

Of sweet repast ; they satiate, and soon fill. 

Though pleasant ; but thy words, with grace divine 

Imbued, bring to their sweetness no satiety. 

To whom thus Raphael answered heavenly meek : 
Nor are thy lips ungraceful, sire of men. 
Nor tongue ineloquent ; for God on thee 
Abundantly his gifts hath also poured. 
Inward and outward both, his image fair : 
Speaking, or mute, all comeliness and grace 
Attends thee, and each word, each motion, forms. 

Fond. — Foolish. 



Nor less think we in heaven of thee on earth 

Than of our fellow-servant, and inquire 

Gladly into the ways of God with Man ; 

For God, we see, hath honoured thee, and set 

On man his equal love. Say therefore on ; 

For I that day was absent, as befell. 

Bound on a voyage uncouth and obscure, 

Far on excursion toward the gates of hell ; 

Squared in full legion — such command we had — 

To see that none thence issued forth a spy, 

Or enemy, while God was in his work ; 

Lest he, incensed at such eruption bold, 

Destruction with creation might have mixed. 

Not that they durst without his leave attempt ; 

But us he sends upon his high behests 

For state, as sovereign King, and to inure 

Our prompt obedience. Fast we found, fast shut, 

The dismal gates, and barricadoed strong. 

But, long ere our approaching, heard within 

Noise, other than the sound of dance or song ; 

Torment, and loud lament, and furious rage. 

Glad we returned up to the coasts of light 

Ere Sabbath evening. So we had in charge. 

But thy relation now for I attend, 

Pleased with thy words no less than thou with mine. 

So spake the godlike Power, and thus our Sire 
For man to tell how human life begran 
Is hard ; for who himself beginning knew ? 
Desire with thee still longer to converse 
Induced me. As new waked from soundest sleep 
Soft on the flowery herb I found me laid. 
In balmy sweat, which with his beams the sun 
Soon dried, and on the reeking moisture fed. 
Straight toward heaven my wondering eyes I turned. 

Book VIII.— 258-28Q.] 



And gazed awhile the ample sky ; till, raised 

By quick instinctive motion, up I sprung, 

As thitherward endeavouring, and uprig ht . 

Stood on my feet. About me round I saw 

Hill, dale, and shady woods, and sunny plains, 

And liquid lapse of murmuring streams ; by these, 

Creatures that lived and moved, and walked or flew ; 

Birds on the branches warbling ; all things smiled ; 

With fragrance and with joy my heart o'erflowed. 

Myself I then perused,' and limb by limb 

Surveyed, and sometimes went, and sometimes ran 

With supple joints, as lively vigour led. 

But who I was, or where, or from what cause. 

Knew not. To speak I tried, and forthwith spake ; 

My tongue obeyed, and readily could name 

Whatever I saw. Thou Sun, said I, fair light, 

And thou enlightened Earth, so fresh and gay, 

Ye hills, and dales, ye rivers, woods, and plains, 

And ye that live and move, fair creatures, tell, 

Tell if ye saw, how came I thus, how here ? 

Not of myself; by some great Maker then, 

In goodness and in power pre-eminent. 

Tell me how may I know Him, how adore; 

From whom I have that thus I move and live, 

And feel that I am happier than I know ? 

While thus I called, and strayed I knew not whither, 

From where I first drew air, and first beheld 

This happy light ; when answer none returned, 

On a green shady bank, profuse of flowers. 

Pensive I sat me down : there gentle sleep 

First found me, and with soft oppression seized 

My drowsed sense, untroubled, though I thought 

Perused.- ■ Fxainmed. 



[Book VIII. — 290-321. 

I then was passing to my former state 

Insensible, and forthwith to dissolve. 

When suddenly stood at my head a dream, 

Whose inward apparition gently moved 

My fancy to believe I yet had being, 

And lived. One came, me thought, of shape divine, 

And said. Thy mansion wants thee, Adam ; rise, 

First man, of men innumerable ordained 

First father ! Called by thee, I come thy guide 

To the garden of bliss, thy seat prepared. 

So saying, by the hand he took me, raised. 

And over fields and waters, as in air 

Smooth sliding without step, last led me up 

A woody mountain, whose high top was plain, 

A circuit wide enclosed, with goodliest trees 

Planted, with walks and bowers ; that what I saw 

Of earth before scarce pleasant seemed. Each tree, 

Loaden with fairest fruit, that hung to the eye 

Tempting, stirred in me sudden appetite 

To pluck and eat ; whereat I waked, and found 

Before mine eyes all real, as the dream 

Had lively shadowed. Here had new begun 

My wandering, had not He, who was my guide 

Up hither, from among the trees appeared, 

Presence Divine. Rejoicing, but with awe, 

In adoration at His feet I fell 

Submiss.' He reared me, and. Whom thou sough t'st I am, 

Said mildly. Author of all this thou seest 

Above, or round about thee, or beneath. 

This Paradise I give thee ; count it thine 

To till and keep, and of the fruit to eat. 

Of every tree that in the garden grows 

Submiss. — Bowing down, submissive. 

Book VIII.— 322-352.] 



Eat freely with glad heart ; fear here no dearth. 
But of the tree, whose operation brings 
Knowledge of good and ill, which I have set 
The pledge of thy obedience and thy faith, 
Amid the garden by the tree of life — 
Remember what I warn thee — shun to taste, 
And shun the bitter consequence ; for know, 
The day thou eat'st thereof, my sole command 
Transgressed, inevitably thou shalt die, 
From that day mortal, and this happy state 
Shalt lose, expelled from hence into a v/orld 
Of woe and sorrow. Sternly He pronounced 
The rigid interdiction, which resounds 
Yet dreadful in mine ear, though in my choice 
Not to incur; but soon His clear aspect 
Returned, and gracious purpose thus renewed : 
Not only these fair bounds, but all the earth 
To thee and to thy race I give ; as lords 
Possess it, and all things that therein live, 
Or live in sea, or air ; beast, fish, and fowl. 
In sign whereof, each bird and beast behold 
After their kinds, I brino^ them to receive 
From thee their names,' and pay thee fealty 
With low subjection. Understand the same 
Of fish within her watery residence, 
Not hither summoned, since they cannot change 
Their element to draw the thinner air. 
As thus he spake, each bird and beast behold. 
Approaching two and two ; these cowering low 
With blandishment, each bird stooped on his wing 
I named them as they passed, and understood 

^ Fr077i thee their nmnes. — "The Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air, and brought 
them unto Adam to see what he would call them : and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the 
name thereof." (Gen. ii. 19.) 

2 A 



[Book VIII.— 353 

Their nature ; with such knowledge God endued 
My sudden apprehension. But in these 
I found not what me thought I wanted still ; 
And to the heavenly vision thus presumed : 

Oh, by what name, for Thou above all these, 
Above mankind, or aught than mankind higher, 
Surpassest far my naming ; how may I 
Adore thee, Author of this universe. 
And all this good to man ? for whose well-being 
So amply, and with hands so liberal, 
Thou hast provided all things. But with me 
I see not who partakes. In solitude 
What happiness ? Who can enjoy alone, 
Or, all enjoying, what contentment find ? 
Thus I, presumptuous ; and the Vision bright, 
As with a smile more brightened, thus replied : 

What call'st thou solitude r Is not the Earth 
With various living creatures, and the air. 
Replenished, and all these at thy command 
To come and play before thee ? Know'st thou not 
Their language and their ways ? The}^ also know, 
And reason not contemptibly ; with these 
Find pastime, and bear rule ; thy realm is large. 
So spake the Universal- Lord, and seemed 
So ordering. I, with leave of speech implored. 
And humble deprecation, thus replied : 

Let not my words offend thee, heavenly Power ; 
My Maker, be propitious while I speak. 
Hast thou not made me here thy substitute. 
And these inferior far beneath me set ? 
Among unequals what society 
Can sort, what harmony, or true delight ? 
Which must be mutual, in proportion due 
Given and received ; but, in disparity, 

Book vi 1 1. —387-420.] 


The one intense, the other still remiss, 

Cannot well suit with either, but soon prove 

Tedious alike. Of fellowship I speak 

Such as I seek, fit to participate 

All rational delight, wherein the brute 

Cannot be human consort. They rejoice 

Each, with their kind, lion with lioness ; 

So fitly them in pairs thou hast combined ; 

Much less can bird with beast, or fish with fowl, 

So well converse, nor with the ox the ape ; 

Worse, then, can man with beast, and least of all. 

Whereto the Almighty answered, not displeased 
A nice and subtle happiness, I see 
Thou to thyself proposest, in the choice 
Of thy associates, Adam, and wilt taste 
No pleasure, though in pleasure, solitary. 
What think'st thou, then, of me, and this my state ? 
Seem I to thee sufficiently possessed 
Of happiness, or not, who am alone 
From all eternity ? for none 1 know 
Second to me, or like, equal much less. 
How have I, then, with whom to hold converse, 
Save with the creatures which I made, and those 
To me inferior, infinite descents 
Beneath what other creatures are to thee ? 

He ceased ; I lowly answered : To attain 
The height and depth of Thy eternal ways 
All human thoughts come short. Supreme of things ! 
Thou in Thyself art perfect, and in Thee 
Is no deficience found : not so is Man, 
But in degree, the cause of his desire, 
By conversation with his like, to help 
Or solace his defects. No need that Thou 
Shouldst propagate, already infinite, 



[Book VIII.— 421-.154. 

And through all numbers absolute, though one. 

But man by number is to manifest 

His single imperfection, and beget 

Like of his like, his image multiplied, 

In unity defective ; which requires 

Collateral love, and dearest amity. 

Thou in thy secrecy, although alone. 

Best with Thyself accompanied, seek'st not 

Social communication ; yet, so pleased, 

Canst raise thy creature to what height thou wilt 

Of union or communion, deified : 

I, by conversing, cannot these erect 

From prone, nor in their ways complacence find. 

Thus I, emboldened, spake, and freedom used 

Permissive, and acceptance found ; which gained 

This answer from the gracious Voice divine : 

Thus far to try thee, Adam, I was pleased; 
And find thee knowing, not ol beasts alone. 
Which thou hast rightly named, but of thyself ; 
Expressing well the spirit within thee free. 
My image, not imparted to the brute ; 
Whose fellowship, therefore, unmeet for thee, 
Good reason was thou freely shouldst dislike. 
And be so minded still. I, ere thou spakest, 
Knew it not good for man to be alone ; 
And no such company as then thou saw'st 
Intended thee ; for trial only brought, 
To see how thou couldst judge of fit and meet. 
What next I bring shall please thee, be assured, 
Thy likeness, thy fit help, thy other self, 
Thy wish exactly to thy heart's desire. 

He ended, or I heard no more ; for now 
My earthly by His heavenly overpowered, 
Which it had long stood under, strained to the height 

VIII.— 455-488.] 


In that celestial colloquy sublime, 

As with an object that excels the sense, 

Dazzled and spent, sunk down, and sought repair 

Of sleep, which instantly fell on me, called 

By nature as in aid, and closed mine eyes. 

Mine eyes he. closed, but open left the cell 

Of fancy, my internal sight ; by which, 

Abstract, as in a trance, methought I saw. 

Though sleeping, where I lay, and saw the shape 

Still glorious before whom awake I stood. 

Who, stooping, opened my left side, and took 

From thence a rib, with cordial spirits warm. 

And life-blood streaming fresh. Wide was the woimd 

But suddenly with flesh filled up and healed. 

The rib he formed and fashioned with his hands ; 

Under His forming hands a creature grew, 

Man-like, but different sex ; so lovely fair, 

That what seemed fair in all the world, seemed now 

Mean, or in her summed up, in her contained. 

And in her looks, which, from that time, infused 

Sweetness unto my heart unfelt before. 

And into all things, from her air, inspired 

The spirit of love and amorous delight. 

She disappeared, and left me dark ; I waked 

To find her, or for ever to deplore 

Her loss, and other pleasures all abjure ; 

When out of hope, behold her, not far off, 

Such as I saw her in my dream, adorned 

With what all earth or heaven could bestow 

To make her amiable. On she came. 

Led by her heavenly Maker, though unseen, 

And guided by his voice ; nor uninformed 

Of nuptial sanctity and marriage rites. 

Grace was in all her steps, heaven in her eye. 



[Book V!I 1.-480-520. 

In every gesture dignity and love. 
I, overjoyed, could not forbear aloud: 

This turn hath made amends : thou hast fulfilled 
Thy words, Creator bounteous and benign, 
Giver of all things fair ! but fairest this 
Of all thy gifts ! nor enviest. I now see • 
Bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh, myself 
Before me. Woman is her name ; of man 
Extracted : for this cause he shall forego 
Father and mother, and to his wife adhere ; 
And they shall be one flesh, one heart, one soul. 

She heard me thus : and, though divinely brought, 
Yet innocence and virgin modesty. 
Her virtue and the conscience of her worth,' 
That would be wooed, and not unsought be won, 
Not obvious, not obtrusive, but, retired. 
The more desirable ; or, to say all, 
Nature herself, though pure of smful thought. 
Wrought in her so, that, seeing me, she turned ; 
I followed her ; she what was honour knew. 
And with obsequious majesty approved 
My pleaded reason. To the nuptial bower 
I led her, blushing . like the morn : all heaven, 
And happy constellations, on that hour 
Shed their selectest influence : the earth 
Gave sign of gratulation, and each hill ; 
Joyous the birds ; fresh gales and gentle airs 
Whispered it to the woods, and from their wings 
Flung rose, flung odours from the spicy shrub. 
Disporting, till the amorous bird of night 
Sung spousal, and bid haste the evening star, 
On his hill-top, to light the bridal lamp. 

' Conscience of her worth. — Conscious of. knowing it 

VIII.— i2i-554-J 


Thus have I told thee all my state, and brought 
My story to the sum of earthly bliss 
^/Vhich I enjoy ; and must confess to find 
In all things else delight indeed, but such 
As, used or not, works in the mmd no change, 
Nor vehement desire ; these delicacies 
I mean of taste, sight, smell, herbs, fruits, and flowers, 
Walks, and the melody of birds. But here 
Far otherwise, transported I behold, 
Transported touch ; here passion first I felt, 
Commotion strange ! in all enjoyments else 
Superior and unmoved ; here only weak 
Against the charm of beauty's powerful glance, 
Or nature failed in me, and left some part 
Not proof enough such object to sustain ; 
Or, from my side subducting, took, perhaps, 
More than enough ; at least on her bestowed 
Too much of ornament, in outward show 
Elaborate, of inward less exact. 
For well I understand, in the prime end 
Of nature, her the inferior in the mind 
And inward faculties, which most excel ; 
In outward, also, her resembling less 
His image who made both, and less expressing 
The character of that dominion given 
O'er other creatures. Yet, when I approach 
Her loveliness, so absolute she seems. 
And in herself complete, so well to know 
Her own, that what she wills to do or say 
Seems wisest, virtuousest, discreetest, best. 
All higher knowledge in her presence falls 
Degraded. Wisdom in discourse with her 
Loses, discountenanced, and like folly shews. 
Authority and reason on her wait. 



[Book VIII.— 555-586. 

As one intended first, not after made 
Occasionally ; and, to consummate all, 
Greatness of m.ind, and nobleness, their seat 
Build in her loveliest, and create an awe 
About her, as a guard angelic placed. 

To whom the Angel, with contracted brow : 
Accuse not Nature, she hath done her part ; 
Do thou but thine, and be not diffident 
Of wisdom ; she deserts thee not, if thou 
Dismiss not her, when most thou need'st her nigh, 
By attributing overmuch to things 
Less excellent, as thou thyself perceivest. 
For, what admirest thou, what transports thee so ? 
An outside ; fair, no doubt, and worthy well 
Thy cherishing, thy honouring, and thy love ; 
Not thy subjection ; weigh with her thyself; 
Then value. Ofttimes nothing profits more 
Than self-esteem, grounded on just and right 
Well managed. Of that skill, the more thou knowst, 
The more she will acknowledge thee her head, 
And to realities yield all her shows : 
Made so adorn' for thy delight the more, 
So awful, that with honour thou may'st love 
Thy mate, who sees when thou art seen least wise. 
But if the sense of touch, whereby mankind 
Is propagated, seem such dear delight 
Beyond all other, think the same vouchsafed 
To cattle and each beast ; which would not be 
To them made common and divulged, if aught 
Therein enjoyed were worthy to subdue 
The soul of man, or passion in him move. 
What higher in her society thou find'st 

' Made so adorn. — Adorned. 

VIII.— 587-620.1 


Attractive, human, rational, love still ; 
In loving thou dost well, in passion not. 
Wherein true love consists not. Love refines 
The thoughts, and heart enlarges ; hath his seat 
In reason, and is judicious ; is the scale 
By which to heavenly love thou may'st ascend, 
Not sunk in carnal pleasure ; for which cause. 
Among the beasts no mate for thee was found. 

To whom thus, half abashed, Adam replied: 
Neither her outside, formed so fair, nor aught 
In procreation, common to all kmds — 
Though higher of the genial bed by far, 
And with mysterious reverence I deem — 
So much delights me, as those graceful acts, 
Those thousand decencies, that daily flow 
From all her words and actions, mixed with love 
And sweet compliance, which declare unfeigned 
Union of mind, or in us both one soul : 
Harmony to behold in wedded pair 
More grateful than harmonious sound to the ear. 
Yet these subject not ; I to thee disclose 
What inward thence I feel, not therefore foiled, 
Who meet with various objects, from the sense 
Variously representing ; yet, still free. 
Approve the best, and follow what I approve. 
To love thou blamest me not ; for love, thou say'st, 
Leads up to heaven, is both the way and guide. 
Bear with me, then, if lawful what I ask : 
Love not the heavenly Spirits, and how their love 
Express they, by looks only, or do they mix 
Irradiance, virtual or immediate touch ? 

To whom the angel, with a smile that glowed 
Celestial rosy red, love's proper hue. 
Answered : Let it suffice thee that thou knowesl 

2 lO 


(Book VIII.— 621-653. 

Qs happy, and without love no happiness. 

Whatever pure thou in the body enjoyest — 

And pure thou wert created — we enjoy 

In eminence, and obstacle find none 

Of membrane, joint, or limb, exclusive bars. 

Easier than air with air, if Spirits embrace, 

Total they mix, union of pure with pure 

Desiring, nor restrained conveyance need. 

As flesh to mix with flesh, or soul with soul. 

But I can now no more ; the parting Sun, 

Beyond the Earth's green cape and verdant isles 

Hesperian, sets; my signal to depart. 

Be strong, live happy, and love ; but, first of all, 

Him, whom to love is to obey ; and keep 

His great command. Take heed lest passion sway 

Thy judgment to do aught which, else, free-will 

Would not admit : thine, and of all thy sons, 

The weal or woe in thee is placed ; beware ! 

I in thy persevering shall rejoice, 

And all the blest. Stand fast; to stand or tall 

Free in thine own arbitrement it lies. 

Perfect within, no outward aid require ; 

And all temptation to transgress repel. 

So saying, he arose, whom Adam thus 
Followed with benediction : Since to part, 
Go, heavenly guest, ethereal messenger. 
Sent from whose sovereign goodness I adore ! 
Gentle to me and affable hath been 
Thy condescension, and shall be honoured ever 
With grateful memory ; thou to mankind 
Be good and friendly still, and oft return ! 

So parted they : the Angel up to heaven 
From the thick shade, and Adam to his bower 

/. 2iO. 

So parted they: the Angel up to heaven 
From the thick shade, and Adam to his bower. 

Book VIII., lines (j^l, 653. 


Satan, having compassed the earth, with meditated guile returns, as a mist, by night, into I'aradise ; enters into the 
serpent sleepmg. Adam and Eve in the morning go forth to their labours, which Eve proposes to divide in several 
places, each labouring apart : Adam consents not, alleging the danger lest that enemy of whom they were forewarned, 
should attempt her, found alone : Eve, loth to be thought not circumspect or firm enough, urges her going apart, the 
rather desirous to make trial of her strength ; Adam at last yields ; the serpent finds her alone : his subtle approach, 
first gazing, then spcakin^;; with much flattery extolling Eve above all other creatures. Eve, wondering to hear the 
serpent speak, asks how he attained to human speech, and such understanding, not till now : the serpent answers that, 
by tasting of a certain tree in the garden, he attained both to speech and reason, till then void of both. Eve requires 
him to bring her to that tree, and finds it to be the tree of knoivlcdge, forbidden : the serpent, now grown bolder, 
with many wiles and arguments induces her at length to eat ; she, pleased with the taste, deliberates awhile whether 
to impart thereof to Adam or not ; at last brings him of the fruit : relates what persuaded her to cat thereof. Adam, 
at first amazed, but perceiving her lost, resolves, through vehemence of love, to perish with her ; and, extenuating the 
trespass, eats also of the fruit : the effects thereof in them both ; they seek to cover their nakedness ; then fall to 
variance and accusation ol one another. 

NO more of talk where God, or Angel guest. 
With Man, as with his friend, familiar used 
To sit indulgent, and with him partake 
Rural repast ; permitting him the while 
Venial discourse ' unblamed. I now must change 
Those notes to tragic ; foul distrust, and breach 
Disloyal, on the part of Man, revolt 
And disobedience ; on the part of Heaven, 
Now alienated, distance, and distaste, 
Anger and just rebuke, and judgment given. 
That brought into this world a world of woe, 
Sin and her shadow death, and misery 
Death's harbinger. Sad task ! yet argument 
Not less, but more heroic than the wrath 
Of stern Achilles^ on his foe pursued. 
Thrice fugitive, about Troy wall ; or rage 
Of Turnus for Lavinia^ disespoused ; 

• Venial discourse. — Pardonable, allowable. 

' Stern Achilles. — The principal hero in the " Iliad," described as the most handsome and brave of all the Greeks. 
' Of Turnus for Lavinia. — A Latin prince who fought against .4Lneas, because King Lalinus had given his daughter 
Laviuia to him in marriage. 

2 12 


Book IX.— 18-48. 

Or Neptune's ire, or Juno's,' that so long 
Perplexed the Greek, and Cytherea's"" son ; 
If answerable style I can obtain 
Of my celestial patroness, who deigns 
Her nightly visitation unimplored. 
And dictates to me slumbering, or inspires 
Easy my unpremeditated verse. 
Since first this subject for heroic song 
Pleased me, long choosing and beginning late, 
Not sedulous by nature to indite 
Wars, hitherto the only • argument 
Heroic deemed, chief mastery to dissect, 
With long and tedious havoc, fabled knights, 
In battles feigned — the better fortitude 
Of patience and heroic martyrdom 
Unsung — or to describe races and games, 
Or tilting furniture, emblazoned shields. 
Impresses quaint, caparisons and steeds. 
Bases and tinsel trappings, gorgeous knights 
At joust and tournament, then marshalled feast 
Served up in hall with sewers and seneschals, 
The skill of artifice or office mean. 
Not that which justly gives heroic name 
To person or to poem. Me, of these 
Nor skilled nor studious, higher argument 
Remains ; sufficient of itself to raise 
That name, unless an age too late, or cold 
Climate, or years, damp my intended wing 
Depressed ; and much they may if all be mine, 
Not hers, who brings it nightly to my ear.^ 
The sun was sunk, and after him the star 

' Neptune^ s ire, or Juno^s. — Neptune was hostile to Ulysses, Juno to ^tneas. 

* Cytherea. — One of the names of Venus. 

• Nightly to my ear. — These personal episodes have been censured by critics as displaced in such a poem, and perhapj 
not without reason. But as they come from Milton, the reader, we doubt not, wiO give them a cordial and sympathetic welcome. 

p. 212. 

In with the river sunk, and with it rose, 

Book IX., lilies 74, 75. 

Book IX.-49-80.I PARADISE LOST. 2 T 3 

Of Hesperus, whose office is to bring 

Twilight upon the earth, short arbiter 

'Twixt day and night ; and now, from end to end, 

Night's hemisphere had veiled the horizon round, 

When Satan, who late fled before the threats 

Of Gabriel out of Eden, now improved 

In meditated fraud and malice, bent 

On Man's destruction, maugre what might hap 

Of heavier on himself, fearless returned. 

By night he fled, and at midnight returned 

From compassing the earth ; cautious of day. 

Since Uriel, regent of the sun, descried 

His entrance, and forewarned the cherubim 

That kept their watch. Thence, full of anguish, driven. 

The space of seven continued nights he rode 

With darkness : thrice the equinoctial line 

He circled, four times crossed the car of Nifjht 

From pole to pole, traversing each colure 

On the eighth returned, and, on the coast averse 

From entrance or cherubic watch, by stealth 

Found unsuspected way. There was a place, 

Now not, though sin, not time, first wrought the change, 

Where Tigris, at the foot of Paradise, 

Into a gulf shot under ground, till part 

Rose up a fountain by the tree of life : 

In with the river sunk, and with it rose, 

Satan, involved in rising mist, then sought 

Where to lie hid. Sea he had searched, and land 

From Eden over Pontus, and the pool 

Maiotis, up beyond the river Ob ; 

Downward as far antarctic ; and, in length. 

West from Orontes to the ocean barred 

' Each colure. — The colures are two great circles intersecting each other at right angles in the poles, and encompassing 
Ihc earth from north to south, and from south to north agaia, so that to traverse these was to traverse the whole globe. 


214 PARADISE LOST. (Book (X.-81-.14. 

At Darien, thence to the land where flows 
Ganges and Indus. Thus the orb he roamed 
With narrow search, and, with inspection deep, 
Considered every creature, which of all 
Most opportune might serve his wiles, and found 
The serpent subtlest beast of all the field. 
Him, after long debate, irresolute, 
Of thoughts revolved, his final sentence chose, 
Fit vessel, fittest imp of fraud, in whom 
To enter, and his dark suggestions hide 
From sharpest sight ; for, in the wily snake, 
Whatever sleights, none would suspicious mark, 
As from his wit and native subtlety 
Proceeding, which, in other beasts observed, 
Doubt might beget of diabolic power 
Active within, beyond the sense of brute. 
Thus he resolved, but first, from inward grief, 
His bursting passion into plaints thus poured: 

O Earth, how like to Heaven, if not preferred 
More justly, seat worthier of gods, as built 
With second thoughts, reforming what was old ! 
For what god, after better, worse would build ? 
Terrestrial Heaven, danced round by other heavens 
That shine, yet bear their bright officious lamps, 
Light above light, for thee alone, as seems, 
In thee concentring all their precious beams 
Of sacred influence ! As God in Heaven 
Is centre, yet extends to all ; so thou. 
Centring, receivest from all those orbs ; in thee. 
Not in themselves, all their known virtue appears 
Productive in herb, plant, and nobler birth 
Of creatures animate with gradual life 
Of grow^th, sense, reason, all summed up in Man. 
With what delight could I have walked thee round, 

/. 214. O Earth, how Hke to Heaven, if not preferred 

More justly. 

Book IX., lines 1)9, 100. 

Book IX - 115-148.] 



If I could joy in aught ! Sweet interchange 

Of hill, and valley, rivers, woods, and plains, 

Now land, now sea, and shores with forest crowned. 

Rocks, dens, and caves ! But I in none of these 

Find place or refuge ; and the more I see 

Pleasures about me, so much more I feel 

Torment within me, as from the hateful siege 

Of contraries. All good to me becomes 

Bane, and in heaven much worse would be my state. 

But neither here seek I, no, nor in Heaven, 

To dwell, unless by mastering heaven's Supreme. 

Nor hope to be myself less miserable 

By what I seek, but others to make such 

As I, though thereby worse to me redound. 

For only in destroying I find ease 

To my relentless thoughts ; and, him destroyed, 

Or won to what may work his utter loss, 

For whom all this was made, all this will soon 

Follow, as to him linked in weal or woe ; 

In woe then ; that destruction wide may range. 

To me shall be the glory sole among 

The infernal Powers, in one day to have marred 

What He, Almighty styled, six nights and days 

Continued making, and who knows how long 

Before had been contriving, though, perhaps, 

Not longer than since I, in one night, freed, 

From servitude inglorious, well- nigh half 

The angelic name, and thinner left the throng 

Of his adorers. He, to be avenged, 

And to repair his numbers thus impaired, 

Whether such virtue, spent of old, now failed 

More Angels to create — if they at least 

Are His created — or, to spite us more, 

Determined to advance into our room 


(Book IX. 149-182. 

A creature formed of earth, and him endow, 
Exalted from so base original, 

With heavenly spoils, our spoils. What he decreed, 

He effected ; man he made, and for him built, 

Magnificent, this world, and Earth his seat, 

Him lord pronounced, and, O indignity! 

Subjected to his service. Angel-wings, 

And framing ministers, to watch and tend 

Their earthly charge. Of these the vigilance 

I dread ; and, to elude, thus wrapt in mist 

Of midnight vapour, glide obscure, and pry 

In every bush and brake, where hap may find 

The serpent sleeping, in whose mazy folds 

To hide me, and the dark intent I bring. 

O foul descent! that I, who erst contended 

With gods to sit the highest, am now constrained 

Into a beast ; and, mixed with beastial slime. 

This essence to incarnate and imbrute. 

That to the height of Deity aspired ! 

But what will not ambition and revenge 

Descend to ? Who aspires, must down as low 

As high he soared, obnoxious, first or last, 

To basest things. Revenge, at first so sweet, 

Bitter ere long, back on itself recoils. 

Let it — I reck not, so it light well-aimed, 

Since higher I fall short, on him who next 

Provokes my envy, this new favourite 

Of Heaven, this man of clay, son of despite; 

Whom, us the more to spite, his Maker raised 

From dust. Spite then with spite is best repaid. 

So saying, through each thicket, dank or dry, 
Like a black mist, low creeping, he held on 
His midnight search, where soonest he might find 
The serpent. Him, fast sleeping, soon he found 

f>. 2l5. 

Him, fast sleeping, soon he found 
In labyrinth of many a round, self-rolled. 

Book IX., lines 1S2, 183. 

Book IX- 183-216.] 


In labyrinth of many a round, self-rolled, 

His head the midst, well stored with subtle wiles , 

Not yet in horrid shade or dismal den. 

Nor nocent yet ; but, on the grassy herb, 

Fearless, unfeared, he slept. In at his mouth 

The devil entered, and his brutal sense. 

In heart or head, possessing, soon inspired 

With act intelligential ; but his sleep 

Disturbed not, waiting close the approach of morn. 

Now, when as sacred lio^ht beean to dawn 
In Eden on the humid flowers, that breathed 
Their morning incense, when all things that breathe, 
From the earth's great altar, sent up silent praise 
. „ To the Creator, and His nostrils fill 

With grateful smell, forth came the human pair, 
And joined their vocal worship to the quire 
Of creatures wanting voice ; that done, partake 
The season, prime for sweetest scents and airs : 
Then commune how that day they best may ply 
Their growing work ; for much their work outgrew 
The hands' dispatch of two, gardening so wide ; 
And Eve first to her husband thus began : 

Adam, well may we labour still to dress 
This garden, still to tend plant, herb, and flower, 
Our pleasant task enjoined ; but till more hands 
Aid us, the work under our labour grows. 
Luxurious by restraint ; what we by day 
Lop, overgrown, or prune, or prop, or bind, 
One night oi two with wanton growth derides. 
Tending to wild. Thou, therefore, now advise, 
Or hear what to my mind first thoughts present : 
Let us divide our labours ; thou, where choice 
Leads thee, or where most needs, whether to wind 
The woodbine round this arbour, or direct 

2 c 



fBOOK IX.— 2 1 7-2 JO. 

The clasping i\y where to cHmb ; while I, 
In yonder spring of roses intermixed 
With myrtle, find what to redress till noon : 
For, while so near each other thus all day 
Our task we choose, what wonder if, so near, 
Looks intervene, and smiles, or object new 
Casual discourse draw on, which intermits 
Our day's work, brought to little, though begun 
Early, and the hour of supper comes unearned ? 

To whom mild answer Adam thus returned : 
Sole Eve, associate sole, to me, beyond 
Compare, above all living creatures dear ! 
Well hast thou motioned, well thy thoughts employed, 
How we micrht best fulfil the work which here 
God hath assigned us ; nor of me shalt pass 
Unpraised ; for nothing lovelier can be found 
In woman, than to study household good, 
And good works in her husband to promote. 
Yet not so strictly hath our Lord imposed 
Labour, as to debar us when we need 
Refreshment, whether food, or talk between, 
Food of the mind, or this sweet intercourse 
Of looks and smiles, — for smiles from reason flow, 
To brute denied, and are of love the food, 
Love, not the lowest end of human life. 
For not to irksome toil, but to delight. 
He made us, and delight to reason joined. 
These paths and bowers doubt not but our joint hands 
Will keep from wilderness with ease, as wide 
As we need walk, till younger hands ere long 
Assist us. But if much converse, perhaps, 
Thee satiate, to short absence I could yield ; 
For solitude sometinies is best society, 
And short retirement urees sweet return. 

IX.— 251-284.1 


But other doubt possesses me, lest harm 

Befall thee, severed from me ; for thou know'st 

What hath been warned us ; what malicious foe, 

Envying our happiness, and of his own 

Despairing, seeks to work us woe and shame 

By sly assault ; and somewhere, nigh at hand. 

Watches, no doubt, with greedy hope to find 

H is wish and best advantage, us asunder ; 

Hopeless to circumvent us joined, where each 

To other speedy aid might lend at need. 

Whether his first design be to withdraw 

Our fealty from God, or to disturb 

Conjugal love, than which, perhaps, no bliss 

Enjoyed by us excites his envy more ; 

Or this, or worse, leave not the faithful side 

That gave thee being, still shades thee, and protects. 

The wife, where danger or dishonour lurks. 

Safest and seemliest by her husband stays. 

Who guards her, or with her the worst endures. 

To whom the virgin majesty of Eve, 
As one who loves, and some unkindness meets. 
With sweet austere composure thus replied : 

Offspring of heaven and earth, and all earth's k)r 
That such an enemy we have, who seeks 
Our ruin, both by thee informed I learn. 
And from the parting Angel overheard, 
As in a shady nook I stood behind, . 
Just then returned at shut of evening flowers. 
But that thou shouldst my firmness therefore doubt 
To God or thee, because we have a foe 
May tempt it, I expected not to hear. 
His violence thou fearest not; being such 
As we, not capable of death or pain, 
Can either not receive, or can repel. 



[Book IX.— 285-318. 

His fraud is, then, thy fear; which plain infers 

Thy equal fear, that my hrm faith and love 

Can by his fraud be shaken or seduced : 

Thoughts, which how found they harbour in thy breast, 

Adam, misthought of her to thee so dear ? 

To whom, with healing words, Adam replied : 
Daughter of God and Man, immortal Eve ! 
For such thou art, from sin and blame entire ; 
Not diffident of thee do I dissuade 
Thy absence from my sight, but to avoid 
The attempt itself, intended by our foe. 
For he who tempts, though in vain, at least asperses 
The tempted with dishonour foul, supposed 
Not incorruptible of faith, not proof 
Against temptation. Thou thyself, with scorn 
And anger wouldst resent the offered wrong. 
Though ineffectual found ; misdeem not, then, 
If such affront I labour to avert 
From thee alone, which on us both at once 
The enemy, though bold, will hardly dare. 
Or daring, first on me the assault shall light. 
Nor thou his malice and false guile contemn ; 
Subtle he needs must be, who could seduce 
Angels. Nor think superfluous others' aid. 
I, from the influence of thy looks, receive 
Access in every virtue. In thy sight 
More wise, more watchful, stronger, if need were 
Of outward strength ; while shame, thou looking on. 
Shame to be overcome or over-reached, 
Would utmost vigour raise, and raised, unite. 
Why shouldst not thou like sense within thee feel 
When I am present, and thy trial choose 
With me, best witness of thy virtue tried ? 

So spake domestic Adam in his care, 

BOOK IX.— 319-352. J 



And matrimonial love. But Eve, who thought 
Less attributed to her faith sincere, 
Thus her reply with accent sweet renewed : 
If this be our condition, thus to dwell 
In narrow circuit straitened by a foe, 
Subtle or violent, we not endued 
Single with hke defence, wherever met, 
How are we happy, still in fear of harm ? 
But harm precedes not sin. Only our foe, 
Tempting, affronts us with his foul esteem 
Of our integrity: his foul esteem 
Sticks no dishonour on our front, but turns 
Foul on himself ; then wherefore shunned or feared 
By us, who rather double honour gain 
From his surmise proved false, find peace within, 
Favour from Heaven, our witness, from the event. 
And what is faith, love, virtue, unassayed 
Alone, without exterior help sustained ? 
Let us not, tlien, suspect our happy state 
Left so imperfect by the Maker wise, 
As not secure to single or combined. 
Frail is our happiness, if this be so ; 
And Eden were no Eden, thus exposed. 

To whom thus Adam fervently replied : 
O woman, best are all things as the will 
Of God ordained them. His creating hand 
Nothing imperfect, or deficient, left 
Of all that he created, much less man. 
Or aught that might his happy state secure, 
Secure from outward force. Within himself 
The danger lies, yet lies within his power : 
Against his will he can receive no harm. 
But God left free the will, for what obeys 
Reason is free ; and reason he made right, 



[Cook IX.- -353-386. 

But bid her well be ware, and still erect, 

Lest, by some fair-appearing good surprised, 

She dictate false, and misinform the will 

To do what God expressly hath forbid. 

Not then mistrust, but tender love, enjoins, 

That I should mind thee oft, and mind thou mc. 

Firm we subsist, yet possible to swerve. 

Since reason not impossibly may meet 

Some specious object by the foe suborned. 

And fall into deception unaware, 

Not keeping strictest watch, as she was warned. 

Seek not temptation, then, which to avoid 

Were better, and most likely if from me 

Thou sever not ; trial will come unsought. 

Wouldst thou approve thy constancy, approve 

First thy obedience ; the other who can know ? 

Not seeing thee attempted, who attest ? 

But, it thou think trial unsought may find 

Us bcih securer than thus warned thou seemest, 

Go ; for thy stay, not free, absents thee more ; 

Go in thy native innocence, rely 

On what thou hast of virtue ; summon all : ' 

For God towards thee hath done His part, do thine. 

So spake the patriarch of mankind ; but Eve 
Persisted ; yet subm.iss, though last, replied : 

With thy permission, then, and thus forewarned 
Chiefly by what thy own last reasoning words 
Touched only, that our trial, when least sought, 
May find us both, perhaps, far less prepared, 
The willinger I go, nor much expect 
A foe so proud will first the weaker seek ; 
So bent, the more shall shame him his repulse 

Thus saying, from her husband's hand her hand 
Soft she withdrew, and, like a wood-nymph light, 

Book IX.— 387-417.] 



Oread, or Dryad, or of Delia's train,' 

Betook her to the groves — but Delia's self, 

In gait surpassed, and goddess-like deport, 

Though not as she with bow and quiver armed, 

But with such gardening tools as art, yet rude. 

Guiltless of fire, had formed, or Angels brought. 

To Pales,'' or Pomona,^ thus adorned, 

Likest she seemed — Pomona, when she fled 

Vertumnus, or to Ceres in her prime. 

Yet virgin of Proserpina from Jove. 

Her long, with ardent look, his eye pursued 

Delighted, but desiring more her stay. 

Oft he to her his charge of quick return 

Repeated ; she to him as oft engaged 

To be returned by noon amid the bower, 

And all things in best order to invite 

Noontide repast, or afternoon's repose. 

O much deceived, much failing, hapless Eve, 

Of thy presumed return ! event perverse I 

Thou never from that hour in Paradise 

Found'st either sweet repast, or sound repose ! 

Such ambush, hid among sweet flowers and shades 

Waited, with hellish rancour imminent, 

To intercept thy way, or send thee back 

Despoiled of innocence, of faith, of bliss ! 

For now, and since first break of dawn, the Fiend, 

Mere serpent in appearance, forth was come. 

And on his quest, where likeliest he might fiiid 

The only two of mankind, but in them 

The whole included race, his purposed prey. 

In bower and field he sought where any tuft 

' Oread, or Dryad, or of Delia's train. — Female divinities with which the Greeks peopled the iieighbourliood of thcii 
rivers, woods, and mountains. 

' Pales. — The Roman goddess of flocks — shepherds. 
' Pomona. — The female guardian of fruit trees. 

2 24 PARADISE LOST. [Book IX.-418-448 

Of grove or garden-plot more pleasant lay, 
Their tendance, or plantation for deliglit ; 
By fountain or by shady rivulet 

He sought them both, but wished his hap might find 

Eve separate ; he wished, but not with hope 

Of what so seldom chanced ; when to his wish, 

Beyond his hope. Eve, separate he spies. 

Veiled in a cloud of fragrance, where she stood, 

Half spied, so thick the roses blushing round 

About her glowed, oft stooping to support 

Each flower of tender stalk, whose head, though gay 

Carnation, purple, azure, or specked with gold. 

Hung drooping, unsustained ; then she upstays 

Gently with myrtle band, mindless the while 

Herself, though fairest unsupported flower. 

From her best prop so far, and storm so nigh. 

Nearer he drew, and many a walk traversed 

Of stateliest covert, cedar, pine, or palm ; 

Then voluble and bold now hid, now seen 

Among thick woven arborets, and flowers 

Imbordered on each bank, the hand of Eve : 

Spot more delicious than those gardens feigned 

Or of revived Adonis,' or renowned 

Alcinous,^ host of old Laertes' son. 

Or that, not mystic,"^ where the sapient king 

Held dalliance with his fair Egyptian spouse. 

Much he the place admired, the perse i more: 

As one who, long in populous city pent, 

Where houses thick, and sewers, annoy the air, 

Forth issuing on a summer's morn, to breathe 

Among the pleasant villages and farms 

* Voluble and bold. — Curved and confident. 

* Adonis. — T radition made Adonis to delight in a beautiful garden. 

* Alciiioiis.- Alcinous was a son of Neptune, happy in his rule over a portion of the islaiid of Scheria 

* Not iii,ytfj' — This reference shows the sense in which Milton understood the Song of Solomoa 

p 224. Nearer he drew, and many a walk traversed 

Of stateliest covert, cedar, pine, or palm. 

Book IX., lines 434, 435. 

Book IX.-m9-43o.1 PARADISE LOST. 22 5 

Adjoined, from each thing met conceives deHght ; 
The smell of grain, or tedded grass' or kine, 
Or daily, each rural sight, each rural sound ; 
If chance, with nymph-like step, fair virgin pass, 
What pleasing seemed, for her now pleases more. 
She most, and in her look sums all dellcrht. 
Such pleasure took the serpent to behold 
This flowery plat, the sweet recess of Eve 
Thus early, thus alone ; her heavenly form 
Angelic, but more soft, and feminine, 
Her graceful innocence, her every air 
Of gesture, or least action, overawed 
His malice, and with rapine sweet bereaved 
His fierceness of the fierce intent it brought. 
That space the evil one abstracted stood 
From his own evil, and for the time remained 
Stupidly good ; of enmity disarmed, 
Of guile, of hate, of envy, of revenge. 
But the hot hell that always in him burns, 
Though in mid heaven, soon ended his delight, 
And tortures him now more, the more he sees 
Of pleasure, not for him ordained : then soon 
Fierce hate he recollects,^ and all his thoughts 
Of mischief, gratulating,^ thus excites : 

Thoughts, whither have ye led me ! With what sweet 
Compulsion thus transported, to forget 
What hither brought us ? Hate, not love ; nor hope 
Of Paradise for Hell, hope here to taste 
Of pleasure, but all pleasure to destroy. 
Save what is in destroying ; other joy 
To me is lost. Then, let me not let pass 
Occasion which now smiles ; behold alone 

* Tedded grass. — Grass cast about newly cut. ' Fierce hate he fecollecis. — Recalls, nillies. 

' Gratiilating. — Rejoicing in. 

2 D 



[Book IX.— 481-510. 

The woman, opportune to all attempts, 

Her husband, ior I view far round, not nigh. 

Whose hiijher intellectual more I shun, 

And strength, of courage haughty, and of limb 

Heroic built, though of terrestrial mould ; 

Foe not informidable, exempt from wound, 

I not ; so much hath hell debased, and pain 

Enfeebled me, to what I was in heaven. 

She fair, divinely fair, fit love for gods ! 

Not terrible, though terror be in love 

And beauty, not approached by stronger hate. 

Hate stronger, under show of love well feigned, 

The way which to her ruin now I tend. 

So spake the enemy of mankind enclosed 
In serpent, inmate bad, and toward Eve 
Addressed his way : not with indented wave, 
Prone on the ground, as since ; but on his rear, 
Circular base of rising folds, that towered 
Fold above fold, a surging maze ; his head 
Crested aloft, and carbuncle his eyes ; 
With burnished neck of verdant gold, erect 
Amidst his circling spires, that on the grass 
Floated redundant. . Pleasing was his shape. 
And lovely ; never since of serpent-kind 
Lovelier; not those that in Illyria changed 
Hermione and Cadmus,' or the god 
In Epidaurus f nor to which transformed 
Ammonian Jove,^ or Capitoline was seen ; 
He, with Olympias, this, with her who bore 
Scipio, the height of Rome. With tract oblique 

' Hermione and Cadmus. — Fabled as changed into serpents. 

' Epidaurus.— KnolhcT name for /Esculapius, the god of physic, who, being sent for to Rome in the time oJ a plague 
was said to have entered the city in the form of a serpent. 

3 Ammonian Jove.—Salid to have conversed with his mother Olympia in the form ot a serpent— the matron who. as 
the mother of Scipio Africanus, raised Rome to its height of greatness. 

Book IX.— 51 1-542. J 



At first, as one who sought access, but feared 

To interrupt, sidelong he works his way. 

As when a ship, by skilful steersman wrought, 

Nigh river's mouth or foreland, where the wind 

Veers oft, as oft so steers, and shifts her sail : 

So varied he, and of his tortuous train 

Curled many a wanton wreath in sight of Eve, 

To lure her eye. She, busied, heard the sound 

Of rustling leaves, but minded not, as used 

To such disport before her through the field. 

From every beast, more duteous at her call, 

Than at Circean call the herd disguised.' 

He, bolder now, uncalled before her stood, 

But as in gaze admiring : oft he bowed 

His turret crest, and sleek enamelled neck. 

Fawning ; and licked the ground whereon she trod. 

His gentle dumb expression turned at length 

The eye of Eve to mark his play ; he, glad 

Of her attention gained, with serpent tongue 

Organic, or impulse of vocal air, 

His fraudulent temptation thus began: 

Wonder not, sovereign mistress, if, perhaps. 
Thou canst, who art sole wonder ; much less arm 
Thy looks, the heaven of mildness, with disdain. 
Displeased that I approach thee thus, and gaze 
Insatiate, I thus single, nor have feared 
Thy awful brow, more awful thus retired. 
Fairest resemblance of thy Maker fair. 
Thee all things living gaze on, all things thine 
By gift, and thy celestial beauty adore, 
With ravishment beheld ! there best beheld, 
Where universally admired. But here. 

' At Circean call the herd disguised— \r\ allusion to Circe, who was said to have turned men into bcasU. 
(Ovid. " Met." xiv. 45.1 



[Book IX.— 543-574. 

In this enclosure wild, these beasts among, 

Beholders rude, and shallow to discern 

Half what in thee is fair, one man except, 

Who sees thee ? — and what is one ? — who shouldst be seen 

A goddess among gods, adored and served 

By Angels numberless, thy daily train. 

So glozed the tempter, and his proem tuned ; 
Into the heart of Eve his words made way. 
Though at the voice much marvelling : at length. 
Not unamazed, she thus in answer spake : 

What may this mean ? language of man, pronounced 
By tongue of brute, and human sense expressed ! 
The first, at least, of these, I thought denied 
To beasts, whom God, on their creation-day, 
Created mute to all articulate sound ; 
The latter I demur for in their looks 
Much reason, and in their actions, oft appears. 
Thee, serpent, subtlest beast of all the field 
I knew, but not with human voice endued ; 
Redouble, then, this miracle, and say, 
H ow earnest thou speakable of mute, and how 
To me so friendly grown, above the rest 
Of brutal kind, that daily are in sight ? 
Say, for such wonder claims attention due. 

To whom the guileful tempter thus replied : 
Empress of this fair world, resplendent Eve ! 
Easy to me it is to tell thee all 

What thou commandest, and right thou shouldst be obeyed. 

I was at first as other beasts that eraze 

The trodden herb, of abject thoughts and low, 

As was my food ; nor aught but food discerned, 

Or sex, and apprehended nothing high : 

' The latlet I demur. — Question, doubt 

Book IX. — 575-608.] 



Till, on a day roving the field, I chanced 

A goodly tree far distant to behold, 

Loaden with fruit of fairest colours mixed. 

Ruddy and gold. I nearer drew to gaze ; 

When from the boughs a savoury odour blown, 

Grateful to appetite, more pleased m}^ sense 

Than smell of sweetest fennel, or the teats 

Of ewe or goat dropping with milk at even, 

Unsucked of lamb or kid, that tend their play. 

To satisfy the sharp desire I had 

Of tasting those fair apples, I resolved 

Not to defer ; hunger and thirst at once. 

Powerful persuaders, quickened at the scent 

Of that allurinor fruit, urijed me so keen. 

About the mossy trunk I wound me soon ; 

For, high from ground, the branches would require 

Thy utmost reach, or Adam's : round the tree, 

All other beasts that saw, with like desire 

Longing and envying stood, but could not reach. 

Amid the tree now got, where plenty hung 

Tempting, so nigh, to pluck and eat my fill 

I spared not ; for such pleasure, till that hour, 

At feed or fountain, never had I found. 

Sated at length, ere long I might perceive 

Strange alteration in me, to degree 

Of reason in my inward powers, and speech 

Wanted not long, though to this shape retained. 

Thenceforth to speculations high or deep 

I turned my thoughts, and with capacious mind 

Considered all things visible in heaven. 

Or earth, or middle ; all things fair and good. 

But all that fair and good in thy divine 

Semblance, and in thy beauty's heavenly ray, 

United I beheld : no fair to thine 

230 PARADISE LOST. ["o<^k IX.-609 6.42. 

Equivalent or second ! which compelled 
Me thus, though importune perhaps, to come 
And gaze, and worship thee, of right declared 
Sovereign of creatures, universal dame ! 

So talked the spirited sly snake, and Eve, 
Yet more amazed, unwary thus replied : 

Serpent, thy overpraising leaves in doubt 
The virtue of that fruit, in thee first proved. 
But say, where grows the tree ? from hence how far ? 
For many are the trees of God that grow 
In Paradise, and various yet unknown 
To us ; in such abundance lies our choice. 
As leaves a greater store of fruit untouched, 
Still hanging incorruptible, till men 
Grow up to their provision, and more hands 
Help to disburden nature of her birth. 

To whom the wily adder, blithe and glad : 
Empress, the way is ready, and not long ; 
Beyond a row of myrtles, on a flat, 
Fast by a fountain, one small thicket past 
Of blowing myrrh and balm : if thou accept 
My conduct, I can bring thee thither soon. 

Lead, then, said Eve. He, leading, swiftly rolled 
In tangles, and made intricate seem straight. 
To mischief swift. Hope elevates, and joy 
■ Brightens his crest. As when a wandering fire, 
Compact of unctuous vapour, which the night 
Condenses, and the cold environs round. 
Kindled through agitation to a flame. 
Which oft, they say, some evil spirit attends. 
Hovering and blazing with delusive light. 
Misleads the amazed night-wanderer from his way 
To bogs and mires, and oft through pond or pool, 
There swallowed up and lost, from succour far : 

Book IX.-643-676.] PARADISE LOST. 23 1 

So glistered the dire snake, and into fraud 

Led Eve, our credulous mother, to the tree 

Of prohibition, root of all our woe ; 

Which, when she saw, thus to her guide she spake : 

Serpent, we might have spared our coming hither, 
Fruitless to me, though fruit be here to excess, 
The credit of whose virtue rest with thee ; 
Wondrous, indeed, if cause of such effects ! 
But of this tree we may not taste nor touch ; 
God so commanded, and left that command 
Sole daughter of his voice : the rest, we live 
Law to ourselves ; our reason is our law. 

To whom the tempter guilefully replied : 
Indeed ! hath God then said that of the fruit 
Of all these garden-trees ye shall not eat, 
Yet lords declared of all in earth or air ? 

To whom thus Eve, yet sinless : Of the fruit 
Of each tree in the garden we may eat : 
But of the fruit of this fair tree amidst 
The garden, God hath said. Ye shall not eat 
Thereof, nor shall ye touch it, lest ye die. 

She scarce had said, though brief, when now more bold 
The tempter, but, with show of zeal and love 
To man, and indignation at his wrong. 
New part puts on ; and, as to passion moved, 
Fluctuates disturbed, yet comely, and in act 
Raised, as of some great matter to begin. 
As when, of old, some orator renowned. 
In Athens, or free Rome, where eloquence 
Flourished, since mute, to some great cause addressed, 
Stood in himself collected ; while each part. 
Motion, each act, won audience ere the tongue, 
Sometimes in height began, as no delay 
Of preface brooking, through his zeal of right : 

2^2 PARADISE LOST. fBooK IX.-677 710. 

So standing-, moving, or to helcrht up-grown, 
The tempter, all impassioned, thus began* 

Oh, sacred, wise, and wisdom-glvlnpr plant, 
Mother of science ! now I feel thy power 
Within me clear ; not only to discern 
Things in their causes, but to trace the ways 
Of hiofhest agents, deemed however wise. 
Queen of this universe ! do not believe 
Those rlmd threats of death. Ye shall not die. 
How should ye ? By the fruit ? It gives you life 
To knowledge. By the Threatener ? Look on me, 
Me, who have touched and tasted, yet both live, 
And life more perfect have attained than fate 
Meant me, by venturing higher than my lot. 
Shall that be shut to Man, which to the beast 
Is open ? Or will God incense his ire 
For such a petty trespass, and not praise 
Rather your dauntless virtue, whom the pain 
Of death denounced, whatever thing death loe, 
Deterred not from achieving what might lead 
To happier life, knowledge of good and evil ; 
Of good, how just ? of evil, if what is evil 
Be real, why not known, since easier shunned ? 
God, therefore, cannot hurt ye, and be just ; 
Not just, not God ; not feared then, nor obeyed : 
Your fear itself of death removes the fear. 
Why, then, was this forbid ? Why, but to awe ; 
Why, but to keep ye low and ignorant. 
His worshippers. He knows that in the day 
Ye eat thereof, your eyes, that seem so clear. 
Yet are but dim, shall presently be then 
Opened and cleared, and ye shall be as gods, 
Knowin^^ both good and evil, as they know. 
That ye shall be as gods, since I as man. 

Book IX.— 71 1-744-] 


Internal man, is but proportion meet; 

I, of brute, human ; ye, of human, gods. 

So ye shall die, perhaps, by putting- off 

Human, to put on gods ; death to be wished, 

Thoug-h threatened, which no worse than this can brino-. 

And what are gods, that man may not become 

As they, participating godlike food ? 

The irods are first, and that advantag^e use 

On our belief, that all from them proceeds. 

I question it ; for this fair earth I see. 

Warmed by the sun, producing every kind ; 

Them, nothing. If they all things, who enclosed 

Knowledge of good and evil in this tree, 

That whoso eats thereof, forthwith attains 

Wisdom without their leave ? And wherein lies 

The offence, that man should thus attain to know ? 

What can your knowledge hurt Him, or this tree 

Impart against His will, if all be His ? 

Or is it envy ? and can envy dwell 

In heavenly breasts ? These, these, and many more 

Causes import your need of this fair fruit. 

Goddess humane, reach, then, and freely taste. 

He ended ; and his words, replete with guile, 
Into her heart too easy entrance won : 
F^ixed on the fruit she gazed, which to behold 
Might tempt alone ; and in her ears the sound 
Yet rung of his persuasive words, impregned 
With reason, to her seeming, and with truth : 
Meanwhile the hour of noon drew on, and waked 
An eager appetite, raised by the smell 
So savoury of that fruit, which, with desire, 
Inclinable now Q^rown to touch or taste. 
Solicited her longing eye. Yet first. 
Pausing awhile, thus to herself she mused : 



[liOOK IX. 

Great are thy virtues, doubtless, best of fruits. 
Though kept from Man, and worthy to be admired ; 
Whose taste, too long forborne, at first assay 
Gave elocution to the mute, and taught 
The tongue, not made for speech, to speak thy praise. 
Thy praise He also, who forbids thy use, 
Conceals not from us, naming thee the tree 
Of knowledge, knowledge both of good and evil ; 
Forbids us, then, to taste : but His forbidding 
Commends thee more, while it infers the good 
By thee communicated, and our want : 
For good unknown sure is not had ; or, had, 
And yet unknown, is as not had at all. 
In plain, then, what forbids He but to know, 
Forbids us good, forbids us to be wise ? 
Such prohil:)itions bind not. But. if death 
Bind us with after-bands, what profits, then, 
Our inward freedom ? In the day we eat 
Of this fair fruit, our doom is, we shall die ! 
How dies the serpent ? He hath eaten, and lives. 
And knows, and speaks, and reasons, and discerns, 
Irrational till then. For us alone 
Was death invented ? Or to us denied 
This intellectual food, for beasts reserved ? 
For beasts it seems ; yet that one beast which first 
Hath tasted envies not, but brings with joy 
The good befallen him, author unsuspect, 
Friendly to man, far from deceit or guile. 
What fenr I, then ? Rather, what know to fear 
Under this ignorance of good or evil, 
Of God or death, of law or penalty ? 
Here grows the cure of all, this fruit divine. 
Fair to the eye, inviting to the taste, 
Of virtue to make wise : what hinders, then, 
To reach, and feed at once both body and mind ? 

P- 234- 

Back to the thicket slunk 
The guilty serpent. 

Book IX. , liiifs 784, 785. 

Book IX.-780-813.] PARADISE LOST. 

So saying, her rash hand, in evil hour, 
Forth reaching to the fruit, she plucked, she ate ! 
Earth felt the wound, and Nature, from her seat, 
Sighing through all her works, gave signs of woe, 
That all was lost. Back to the thicket slunk 
The guilty serpent ; and well might, for Eve, 
Intent now only on her taste, nought else 
Regarded ; such delight till then, as seemed. 
In fruit she never tasted, whether true 
Or fancied so, through expectation high 
Of knowledge ; nor was godhead from her thought. 
Greedily she engorged without restraint. 
And knew not eating death. Satiate at length, 
And heightened as with wine, jocund -and boon, 
Thus to herself she pleasingly began : 

O sovereign, virtuous, precious of all trees 
In Paradise ! of operation blest 
To sapience, hitherto obscured, infamed, 
And thy fair fruit let 'hang, as to no end 
Created ; but henceforth my early care, 
Not without song, each morning, and due praise, 
Shall tend thee, and the fertile burden case 
Of thy full branches, offered free to all ; 
Till, dieted by thee, I grow mature 
In knowledge, as the gods, who all things know ; 
Though others envy what they cannot give : 
For, had the gift been theirs, it had not here 
Thus grown. Experience, next, to thee I owe. 
Best guide : not following thee, I had remained 
In ignorance ; thou openest wisdom's way, 
And givest access', though secret she retire. 
And I, perhaps, am secret. Heaven is high, 
High, and remote to see from thence distinct 
Each thing on earth ; and other care, perhaps. 


May have diverted from continual watch 

Our great Forbidder, safe with all his spies 

About him. But to Adam in what sort 

Shall I appear ? Shall I to him make known 

As yet my change, and give him to partake 

Full happiness with me, or rather not, 

But keep the odds of knowledge in my power, 

Without copartner ? so to add what wants 

In female sex, the more to draw his love, 

And render me more equal, and, perhaps, 

A thine not undesirable, sometimes 

Superior ; for, inferior, who is free ? 

This may be well. But what if God have seen. 

And death ensue ? Then I shall be no more ! 

And Adam, wedded to another Eve, 

Shall live with her, enjoying ; I extinct : 

A death to think ! Confirmed, "then, I resolve, 

Adam shall share with me in bliss or woe ; 

So dear I love him, that with him all deaths 

I could endure — without him live no life. 

So saying, from the tree her step she turned, 
But first low reverence done, as to the power 
That dwelt within, whose presence had infused 
Into the plant sciential sap, derived 
From nectar, drink of gods. Adam, the while, 
Waiting, desirous her return, had wove 
Of choicest flowers a garland, to adorn 
Her tresses, and her rural labours crown. 
As reapers oft are wont their harvest queen. 
Great joy he promised to his thoughts, and new 
Solace in her return, so long delayed : 
Yet oft his heart, divine of something ill. 
Misgave him ; he the faltering measure felt, 
And forth to meet her went, the way she took 

Book IX.— 848-881.] 


That morn when first they parted. By tlie tree 

Of knowledge he must pass, there he her met, 

Scarce from the tree returning ; in her hand 

A bough of fairest fruit, that downy smiled. 

New gathered, and ambrosial smell diffused. 

To him she hasted ; in her face excuse 

Came prologue, and apology too prompt ; 

Which, with bland words at will, she thus addressed : 

Hast thou not wondered, Adam, at my stay ? 
Thee I have missed, and thought it long, deprived 
Thy presence ; agony of love till now 
Not felt, nor shall be twice ; for never more 
Mean I to try, what rash untried I sought. 
The pain of absence from thy sight. But strange 
Hath been the cause, and wonderful to hear. 
This tree is not, as we are told, a tree 
Of danger tasted, nor to evil unknown 
Opening the way, but of divine eft'ect 
To open eyes, and make them gods who taste ; 
And hath been tasted such. The serpent, wise, 
Or not restrained as we, or not obeying. 
Hath eaten of the fruit, and is become, 
Not dead, as we are threatened, but thenceforth 
Endued with human voice and human sense, 
Reasoning to admiration, and with me 
Persuasively hath so prevailed, that I 
Have also tasted, and have also found 
The effects to correspond ; opener mine eyes 
Dim erst, dilated spirits, ampler heart. 
And growing up to Godhead ; which for thee 
Chiefly I sought ; without thee can despise. 
For bliss, as thou hast part, to me is bliss ; 
Tedious, unshared with thee, and odious soon. 
Thou, therefore, also taste, that equal lot 



May join us — equal joy as equal love ; 
Lest, thou not tasting, different degree 
Disjoin us, and I then too late renounce 
Deity for thee, when fate will not permit. 

Thus Eve, with countenance blithe, her story to 
But in her cheek distemper flushing glowed. 
On the other side, Adam, soon as he heard 
The fatal trespass done by Eve, amazed, 
Astonied stood and blank, while horror chill 
Ran through his veins, and all his joints relaxed ; 
From his slack hand the garland, wreathed for Eve, 
Down dropt, and all the faded roses shed ; 
Speechless he stood and pale ; till thus, at length, 
First to himself, he inward silence broke : 

Oh, fairest of creation, last and best 
Of all God's works ! creature, in whom excelled 
Whatever can to sight or thought be formed, 
Holy, divine, good, amiable, or sweet ! 
How art thou lost ! how on a sudden lost. 
Defaced, deflowered, and now to death devote ! 
Rather, how hast thou yielded to transgress 
The strict forbiddance — how to violate 
The sacred fruit forbidden ? Some cursed fraud 
Of enemy hath beguiled thee, yet unknown. 
And me with thee hath ruined ; for with thee 
Certain my resolution is to die. 
How can I live without thee ? How forego 
Thy sweet converse, and love so dearly joined, 
To live again in these wild woods forlorn ? 
Should God create another Eve, and I 
Another rib afford, yet loss of thee 
Would never from my heart : no, no ! 1 feel 
The link of nature draw me, flesh of flesh. 
Bone of my bone thou art, and from thy state " 
Mine never shall be parted, bliss or woe. 

Book IX.— 917-950.] 


So having said, as one from sad dismay 
Recomforted, and after thoughts disturbed, 
Submitting to what seemed remediless, 
Thus, in cahn mood, his words to Eve he turned : 

Bold deed thou hast presumed, adventurous Eve, 
And peril great provoked, who thus hast dared, 
Had it been only coveting to eye 
That sacred fruit, sacred to abstinence. 
Much more to taste it, under ban to touch. 
But past, who can recall, or done, undo ? 
Not God omnipotent, nor fate. Yet so 
Perhaps thou shalt not die, perhaps the fact 
Is not so heinous now, foretasted fruit. 
Profaned first by the serpent, by him first 
Made common, and unhallowed, ere our taste. 
Nor yet on him found deadly ; he yet lives ; 
Lives, as thou saidst, and gains to live, as Man, 
Higher degree of life ; inducement strong 
To us, as likely, tasting, to attain 
Proportional ascent ; which cannot be 
But to be gods, or angels, demi-gods. 
Nor can I think that God, Creator wise, 
Though threatening, will in earnest so destroy 
Us, his prime creatures, dignified so high, 
Set over all his works ; which, in our fall. 
For us created, needs with us must fail. 
Dependent made ; so God shall uncreate. 
Be frustrate, do, undo, and labour lose : 
Not well conceived of God, who, though his power 
Creation could repeat, yet would be loth 
Us to abolish, lest the Adversary 
Triumph and say : Fickle their state, whom God 
Most favours ; who can please Him long ? Me first 
He ruined, now mankind ; whom will he next ? 

» PARADISE LOST. [Book lX.-95i-9iS4. 

Matter of scorn, not to be given the Foe. 

However, I with thee have fixed my lot, 

Certain to underijo Hke doom : if death 

Consort with thee death is to me as Hfe : 

So forcible within my heart I feel 

The bond of nature draw me to my own ; 

My own in thee, for what thou art is mine ; 

Our state cannot be severed ; we are one. 

One flesh ; to lose thee were to lose myself. 
So Adam ; and thus Eve to him replied : 

Oh, glorious trial of exceeding love, 

Illustrious evidence, example high ! 

Engaging me to emulate ; but, short 

Of thy perfection, how shall I attain ? 

Adam ! fi'om whose dear s'de I boast me sprung, 

And gladly of our union hear thee speak, 

One heart, one soul in both ; whereof good proof 

This day affords, declaring thee resolved, 

Rather than death, or aught than death more dread, 

Shall separate us, linked in love so dear, 

To undergo with me one guilt, one crime, 

If any be, of tasting this fair fruit. 

Whose virtue — for of good still good proceeds, 

Direct, or by occasion — hath presented 

This happy trial of thy love, which else 

So eminently never had been known. 

Were it I thought death menaced would ensue 

This my attempt, I would sustain alone 

The worst, and not persuade thee ; rather die 

Deserted, than oblige thee with a fact 

Pernicious to thy peace, chiefly assured 

Remarkably so late of thy so true. 

So faithful love, unequalled ; but I feeJ 

Far otherwise the event ; not death, but life ' 

hooK IX.— 985-1,018.] 


Augmented, opened eyes, new hopes, new joys, 

Taste so divine, that what of sweet before 

Hath touched my sense, flat seems to this, and harsh. 

On my experience, Adam, freely taste, 

And fear of death dehver to the winds. 

So saying, she embraced him, and for joy 
Tenderly wept ; much won, that he his love 
Had so ennobled, as of choice to incur 
Divine displeasure for her sake, or death. 
In recompense — for such compliance bad 
Such recompense best merits, — from the bough 
She gave him of that fair enticing fruit 
With liberal hand : he scrupled not to eat. 
Against his better knowledge : not deceived, 
But fondly overcome with female cliarm. 
Earth trembled from her entrails, as again 
In pangs ; and nature gave a second groan ; 
Sky loured, and, muttering thunder, some sad drops 
Wept at completing of the mortal sin 
Original ; while Adam took no thought 
Eating his fill ; nor Eve to iterate 
Her former trespass feared, the more to soothe 
Him with her loved society ; that now, 
As with new wine intoxicated both. 
They swim in mirth, and fancy that they feel 
Divinity within them breeding wings. 
Wherewith to scorn the earth. But that false fruit 
Far other operation first displayed, 
Carnal desire inflaminor : he on Eve 
Began to cast lascivious eyes ; she him 
As wantonly repaid ; in lust they burn. 
Till Adam thus 'gan Eve to dalliance move : 

Eve, now I see thou art exact of taste. 
And elegant, of sapience no small part ; 

2 F 



Since to each meaning savour we apply, 

And palate call judicious ; I the praise 

Yield thee, so well this day thou hast purveyed. 

Much pleasure we have lost, while we ab'^tained 

From this delightful fruit, nor known till now 

True relish, tasting. If such pleasure be 

In things to us forbidden, it might be wished, 

For this one tree had been forbidden ten. 

But come, so well refreshed, now let us play, 

As meet is, after such delicious fare ; 

For never did thy beauty, since the day 

I saw thee first, and wedded thee, adorned 

With all perfections, so inflame my sense 

With ardour to enjoy thee, fairer now 

Than ever ; bounty of this virtuous tree ! 

So said he, and forbore not glance or toy 
Of amorous mtent, well understood 
Of Eve, whose eye darted contagious fire. 
Her hand he seized ; and to a shady bank. 
Thick overhead with verdant roof embowered. 
He led her, nothing loth ; flowers were the couch, 
Pansies, and violets, and asphodel. 
And hyacinth ; earth's freshest, softest lap. 
There they their fill of love and love's disport 
Took largely, of their mutual guilt the seal, 
The solace of their sin ; till dewy sleep 
Oppressed them, wearied with their amorous olay. 

Soon as the force of that fallacious fruit, 
That with exhilarating vapour bland, 
About their spirits had played, and inmost powers 
Made err, was now exhaled ; and grosser sleep. 
Bred of unkindly fumes, with conscious dreams 
Encumbered, now had left them ; up they rose 
As from unrest, and, each the other viewing, 

Book IX.— 1,053-1,086.] 


Soon found their eyes how opened, and their minds 

How darkened. Innocence, that, as a veil. 

Had shadowed them from knowing ill, was gone ; 

Just confidence, and native righteousness. 

And honour, from about them, naked left 

To guilty shame : he covered, but his robe 

Uncovered more. So rose the Danite strong, 

Herculean Samson, from the harlot-lap 

Of Philistean Dalilah, and waked 

Shorn of his strength ; they, destitute and bare 

Of all their virtue, silent, and in face 

Confounded ; long they sat, as stricken mute ; 

Till Adam, though not less than Eve abashed. 

At leno^th gave utterance to these words constrained: 

O Eve, in evil hour thou didst give ear 
To that false worm, of whomsoever taught 
To counterfeit man's voice ; true in our fall, 
False in our promised rising ; since our eyes 
Opened we find, indeed, and find we know 
Both good and evil ; good lost, and evil got ; 
Bad fruit of knowledge, if this be to know, 
Which leaves us naked thus, of honour void. 
Of innocence, of faith, of purity, 
Our wonted ornaments now soiled and stained, 
And in our faces evident the signs 
Of foul concupiscence ; whence evil store ; 
Even shame, the last of evils ; of the first 
Be sure then. How shall I behold the face 
Henceforth of God or Angel, erst with joy 
And rapture so oft beheld ? Those heavenly shapes 
Will dazzle now this earthly, with their blaze 
Insufferably bright. O ! might I here 
In solitude live savage, in some glade 
Obscured, where highest woods, impenetrable 


(Book IX.— i, 

To star or sun light, spread their umbrage broad 

And brown as evening ! Cover me, ye pines ! 

Ye cedars, with innumerable boughs 

Hide me, where I may never see them more ! 

But let us now, as in bad plight, devise 

What best may, for the present, serve to hide 

The parts of each from other, that seem most 

To shame obnoxious, and unseemliest seen. 

Some tree, whose broad smooth leaves, together sewed, 

And girded on our loins, may cover round 

Those middle parts ; that this new-comer. Shame, 

There sit not, and reproach us as unclean. 

So counselled he, and both together went 
Into the thickest wood ; there soon they chose 
The fig-tree, not that kind for fruit renowned. 
But such as, at this day, to Indians known, 
In Malabar or Decan spreads her arms, 
Branching so broad and long, that in the ground 
The bended twigs take root, and daughters grow 
About the mother-tree, a pillared shade, 
High over-arched, and echoing walks between ; 
There oft the Indian herdsman, shunning heat, 
Shelters in cool, and tends his pasturing herds 
At loop-holes cut through thickest shade. Those leave 
They gathered, broad as Amazonian targe, 
And, with what skill they had, together sewed, 
To gird their waist : vain covering, if to hide 
Their guilt and dreaded shame ! Oh, how unlike 
To that first naked glory ! Such, of late, 
Columbus found the American, so girt 
With feather'd cincture ; naked else, and wild 
Among the trees on isles and woody shores. 
Thus fenced, and, as they thought, their shame in part 
Covered, but not at rest or ease of mind, 

Nor only tears 
Rained at their eyes, but high winds worse within 

Began to rise. 

Book IX., lines 1 1 2 1 - 1 1 2 3 . 

lX.-i,i2i-i,i54.] PARADISE LOST. 2 

They sat them down to weep. Nor only tears 
Rained at their eyes, but high winds worse within 
Began to rise ; high passions, anger, hate, 
Mistrust, suspicion, discord, and shook sore 
Their inward state of mind, cahn re2:ion once. 
And full of peace, now tost and turbulent. 
For understanding ruled not, and the will 
Heard not her lore ; both in subjection now 
To sensual appetite, who, from beneath, 
Usurping over sovereign reason, claimed 
Superior sway. From thus distempered breast, 
Adam, estranged in look and altered style, 
Speech intermitted thus to Eve renewed : 

Would thou hadst hearkened to my words, and staved 
With me, as I besought thee, when that strange 
Desire of wandering, this unhappy morn, 
I know not whence possessed thee ; we had then 
Remained still happy; not as now, despoiled 
Of all our good; shamed, naked, miserable! 
Let none henceforth seek needless cause to approve 
The faith they owe ; when earnestly they seek 
Such proof, conclude they then begin to fail. 

To whom, soon moved with touch of blame, thus Eve 
What words have passed thy lips, Adam, severe ? 
Imputest thou that to my default, or will 
Of wandering, as thou callest it, which who knows 
But might as ill have happened thou being by. 
Or to thyself, perhaps? Hadst thou been there,. 
Or here the attempt, thou couklst not have discerned 
Fraud in the serpent, "speaking as he spake; 
No ground of enmity between us known, 
Why he should mean me ill, or seek to harm. 
Was I to have never parted from thy side ? 
As good have grown there still, a lifeless rib. 


Being as I am, why didst not thou, the head, 
Command me absolutely not to go. 
Going into such danger, as thou saidst ? 
Too facile, then, thou didst not much gainsay : 
Nay, didst permit, approve, and fair dismiss. 
Hadst thou been firm and fixed in thy dissent, 
Neither had I transgressed, nor thou with me. 

To whom, then first incensed, Adam replied 
Is this the love, is this the recompense 
Of mine to thee, ingrateful Eve, expressed 
Immutable when thou wert lost, not I ; 
Who might have lived, and joyed immortal bliss. 
Yet willingly chose rather death with thee ? 
And am I now upbraided as the cause 
Of thy transgressing ? Not enough severe, 
It seems, in my restraint : what could I more ? 
I warned thee, I admonished thee, foretold 
The danger, and the lurking Enemy 
That lay in wait ; beyond this had been force, 
And force upon free-will hath here no place. 
But confidence then bore thee on ; secure 
Either to meet no danger, or to find 
Matter of glorious trial ; and, perhaps, 
I also erred in overmuch admiring 
What seemed in thee so perfect, that I thought 
No evil durst attempt thee. But I rue 
That error now, which is become my crime, 
And thou the accuser. Thus it shall befall 
Him who, to worth in woman overtrusting. 
Lets her will rule : restraint she will not brook : 
And left to herself, if evil thence ensue. 
She first his weak indulgence will accuse. 

Thus they in mutual accusation spent 
The fruitless hours, but neither self-condemning ; 
And of their vain contest appeared no end. 


Man's transi;rcssion known, the guardian angels forsake Paradise, and return up to hen\cn to approve their vigilance, 
and are approved ; God declaring that the entrance of Satan could not be by them prevented. He sends His Son 
to judgn the transgressors ; who descends, and gives sentence accordingly ; then, in pity, clothes them both, and 
re-ascerds. Sin and Death, sitting till then at the gates of hell, by wondrous sympathy feeling the success of Satan 
in this new world, and the sin by man there committed, resolve to sit no longer confined in hell, but to follow 
Satan, their sire, up to the place of man. To make the way easier from hell to this world to and fro, they pave a 
broad highway or bridge over Chaos, according to the track that Satan first made ; then, preparing for earth, they 
meet him, proud of his success, returning to hell ; their mutual gratulation. Satan arrives at Pandemonium ; in full 
assembly relates, with boasting, his success against man ; instead of applause is entertained with a general hiss by 
all his audience, transformed, with himself also, suddenly into serpents, according to his doom given in I'aradise ; 
then, deluded with a show of the forbidden tree springmg up before them, they, greedily reaching to take of the fruit, 
chew dust and bitter ashes. The proceedings of Sin and Death ; God foretells the final victory of His Son over 
ihein, and the renewing of all things ; but, for the present, commands His angels to make several alterations in the 
heavens and elements. Adam, more and more perceiving his fallen condition, heavily bewails, rejects the condolement 
of Eve ; she persists, and at length appeases him : then, to evade the curse likely to fall on their offspring, proposes 
to Adam violent ways, which he approves not ; but, conceiving better hope, puts her in mind of the late promise 
made them, that her seed should be revenged on the serpent ; and exhorts her, with him, to seek peace of the 
olfended Deity, by repentance and supplication. 

MEANWHILE the heinous and despiteful act 
Of Satan done in Paradise ; and how 
He, in the serpent, had perverted Eve, 
Her husband she, to taste the fatal fruit. 
Was known in heaven — for what can 'scape the eye 
Of God all-seeing, or deceive His heart 
Omniscient ? who, in all things wise and just, 
Hindered not Satan to attempt the mind 
Of man, widi strength entire, and free-will armed 
Complete to have discovered and repulsed 
Whatever wiles of foe or seeming friend. 
For still they knew, and ought to have still remembered. 
The high injunction, not to taste that fruit. 
Whoever tempted ; which they, not obeying, 
Incurred — what could they less? — the penalty; 
And manifold in sin, deserved to fall. 
Up into heaven from Paradise, in haste, 
The Angelic guards ascended, mute and sad, 

248 PARADISE LOST. [Book X.- 1^-32 

For Man ; for of his state by this they knew, 

Much wondering how the subtle Fiend had stolen 

Entrance unseen. Soon as the unwelcome news 

From earth arrived at heaven-gate, displeased 

All were who heard ; dim sadness did not spare 

That time celestial visages, yet, mixed 

With pity, violated not their bliss. 

About the new-arrived, in multitudes, 

The ethereal people ran, to hear and know 

How all befell. They, towards the throne supreme, 

Accountable, made haste, to make appear. 

With righteous plea, their utmost vigilance. 

And easily approved ; when the Most High, 

Eternal Father, from his secret cloud 

Amidst, in thunder uttered thus his voice : 

Assembled Angels, and ye Powers returned 
From unsuccessful charge, be not dismayed. 
Nor troubled at these tidings from the Earth, 
Which your sincerest care could not prevent ; 
Foretold so lately what would come to pass, 
When first this tempter crossed the gulf from hell. 
I told ye then he should prevail, and speed 
On his bad errand ; • man should be seduced. 
And flattered out of all, believing lies 
Against his Maker ; no decree of mine 
Concurring to necessitate his fall, 
Or touch with lightest moment of impulse 
Flis free-will, to her own inclining left 
In even scale. But fallen he is ; and now 
What rests, but that the mortal sentence pass 
On his transgression, death denounced that day? 
Which he presumes already vain and void, 
Because not yet inflicted, as he feared, 
By some immediate stroke; but soon shall find 

X.- S3-S6.] 


Forloearance no acquittance, ere day end. 

Justice shall not return, as bounty, scorned. 

But whom send I to judge them ? Whom but Thee, 

ViceQ:erent Son ? To thee I have transferred 

All judgment, whether in Heaven, or Earth, or Hell. 

Easy it may be seen that I intend 

Mercy colleague with justice, sending Thee, 

Man's Friend, his Mediator, his designed 

Both Ransom and Redeemer voluntary, 

And, destined Man himself, to judge man fallen. 

So spake the Father ; and, unfolding bright 
Toward the right hand his glory, on the Son 
Blazed forth unclouded deity : He full 
Resplendent all his Father manifest 
Expressed, and thus divinely answered mild : 

Father Eternal, thine is to decree ; 
Mine, both in heaven and earth, to do thy will 
Supreme ; that thou in me, thy Son beloved, 
Mayest ever rest well pleased. I go to judge 
On earth these thy transgressors ; but thou knowst, 
Whoever judged, the worst on me must light, 
When time shall be ; for so I undertook 
Before Thee ; and, not repenting, this obtain 
Of right, that I may mitigate their doom 
On me derived ; yet I shall temper so 
Justice with mercy, as may illustrate most 
Them fully satisfied, and thee appease. 
Attendance none shall need, nor train, where none 
Are to behold the judgment, but the judged. 
Those two : the third, best absent, is condemned. 
Convict by flight, and rebel to all law : 
Conviction to the serpent none belongs. 

Thus saying, from his radiant seat he rose 
Of high collateral glory. Him, Thrones and Powers, 

250 PARADISE LOST. [Cook X.-87-'2o. 

Princedoms, and Dominations ministrant, 

Accompanied to Heaven-gate ; from! whence 

Eden, and all the coast, in prospect lay. 

Down he descended straight ; the speed of Gods 

Tinie counts not, though with swiftest minutes winged. 

Now was the sun in western cadence low 

From noon and gentle airs, due at their hour, 

To fan the earth, now waked, and usher in 

The evening cool ; when He, from wrath more cool, 

Came, the mild judge and intercessor both, 

To sentence Man. The voice of God they heard 

Now walking in the garden, by soft winds 

Brought to their ears, while day declined. They heard, 

And from His presence hid themselves among 

The thickest trees, both man and wife ; till God, 

Approachmg, thus to Adam called aloud : 

Where art thou, Adam, wont with joy to meet 
My coming, seen far off ? I miss thee here, 
Not pleased, thus entertained with solitude. 
Where obvious duty erewhile appeared unsought : 
Or come I less conspicuous, or what change 
Absents thee, or what chance detains ? Come forth ! 

He came, and with him. Eve, more loath, though first 
To offend ; discountenanced both, and discomposed ; 
Love was not in their looks, either to God, 
Or to each other ; but apparent guilt, 
And shame, and perturbation, and despair ; 
Anger, and obstinacy, and hate, and guile. 
Whence Adam, faltering long, thus answered brief: 

I heard thee in the garden, and of thy voice 
Afraid, being naked, hid myself To whom 
The gracious judge, without revile, replied : 

My voice thou oft hast heard, and hast not feared, 
But still rejoiced ; how is it now become 

X. — I2I-IS4-] 


So dreadful to thee ? That thou art naked, who 
Hath told thee ? Hast thou eaten of the tree 
Whereof I gave thee charge thou shouldst not eat 
To whom thus Adam, sore beset, replied : 
O Heaven! in evil strait this day I stand 
Before my judge ; either to undergo 
Myself the total crime, or to accuse 
My other self, the partner of my life ; 
Whose faihng, while her faith to me remains, 
I should conceal, and not expose to blame. 
By my complaint ; but strict necessity 
Subdues me, and calamitous constraint, 
Lest on my head both sin and punishment, 
However insupportable, be all 

Devolved ; though, should I hold my peace, yet th 

Wouldst easily detect what I conceal. 

This woman, whom thou madest to be my help. 

And gavest me as thy- perfect gift, so good, 

So fit, so acceptable, so divine, 

That from her hand I could suspect no ill, 

And what she did, whatever in itself, 

Her doing seemed to justify the deed ; 

She gave me of the tree, and I did eat. 

To whom the sovereign Presence thus replied 
Was she thy God, that her thou didst obey 
Before His voice ? Or was she made thy guide, 
Superior, or but equal, that to her 
Thou didst resign thy manhood, and the place 
Wherein God set thee above her, made of thee, 
And for thee, whose perfection far excelled 
Hers in all real dignity ? Adorned 
She was, indeed, and lovely, to attract 
Thy ' love, not thy subjection ; and her gifts 
Were such as under government well seemed. 




Unseemly to bear rule, which was thy part 
And person, hadst thou known thyself aright. 

So having said, he thus to Eve in few:' 
Say, woman, what is this which thou hast done ? 

To whom sad Eve, with shame nigh overwhelmed, 
Confessing soon, yet not before her judge 
Bold or loquacious, thus abashed replied : 
The serpent me beguiled, and I did eat. 

Which when the Lord God heard, without delay 
To judgment he proceeded on the accused 
Serpent, though brute, unable to transfer 
The guilt on him who made him instrument 
Of mischief, and polluted from the end 
Of his creation ; justly then accursed, 
As vitiated in nature. More to know 
Concerned not man — since he no further knew — 
Nor altered his offence. Yet God at last 
To Satan, first in sin, his doom applied, 
Though in mysterious terms, judged as then best ; 
And on the serpent thus his curse let fall : 

Because thou hast' done this, thou art accursed 
Above all cattle, each beast of the field ; 
Upon thy belly grovelling thou shalt go, 
And dust shalt eat all the days of thy life. 
Between thee and the woman I will put 
Enmity, and between thine and her seed ; 
Her seed shall bruise thy head, thou bruise his heel. 

So spake this oracle, then verified. 
When Jesus, Son of Mary, second Eve, 
Saw Satan fall, like lightning down from heaven, 
Prince of the air ; then, rising from his grave, 
Spoiled Principalities and Powers, triumphed 

Thus to Eve in few. — In few words. 

' Because thou hast. — Gen. iii. 15. 

Book X.— 187-218.] 


In open show ; and, with ascension bright, 
Captivity led captive through the air, 
The realm itself of Satan, long usurped ; 
Whom He shall tread at last under our feet, 
Even He, who now foretold his fatal bruise. 
And to the woman thus his sentence turned : 

Thy sorrow I will greatly multiply 
By thy conception ; children thou shalt bring 
In sorrow forth ; and to thy husband's will 
Thine shall submit, he over thee shall rule. 

On Adam last thus judgment he pronounced : 
Because thou hast hearkened to the voice of thy wife, 
And eaten of the tree concerning which 
I charged thee, saying, Thou shalt not cat thereof. 
Cursed is the ground for thy sake ; thou in sorrow 
Shalt eat thereof all the days of thy life ; 
Thorns, also, and thistles, it shall bring thee forth, 
Unbid, and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; 
In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat biead. 
Till thou return unto the ground ; for thou 
Out of the earth wast taken, know thy birth, 
For dust thou art, and shalt to dust return/ 

So judged he man, both Judge and Saviour sent. 
And the instant stroke of death, denounced that day, 
Removed far off Then pitying how they stood 
Before him, naked to the air, that now 
Must suffer change, disdained not to begin 
Thenceforth the form of servant to assume ; 
As when he washed his servants' feet ; so now 
As Father of his family, he clad 
Their nakedness with skins of beasts, or slain. 
Or, as the snake, with youthful coat repaid. 

To dust return. — Gen. iii. 15 — 19. 

254 PARADISE LOST. [Book X.-2 19-25 2. 

And thoueht not much to clothe his enemies. 

Nor he their outward only with the skins 

Of beasts, but inward nakedness, much more 

Opprobrious, with his robe of righteousness 

Arraying, covered from his Father's sight. 

To Him, with swift ascent, he up returned, 

Into his blissful bosom reassumed. 

In glory, as of old; to Him, appeased. 

All, though all-knowing, what had passed with Man 

Recounted, mixing intercession sweet 

Meanwhile, ere thus was sinned and judged on earth, 
Within the gates of hell sat Sin and Death, 
In counterview within the gates, that now 
Stood open wide, belching outrageous flame 
Far into Chaos, since the Fiend passed through, 
Sin opening ; who thus now to Death began : 

O son, why sit we here, each other viewing 
Idly, while Satan, our great author, thrives 
In other worlds, and happier seat provides 
For us, his offspring dear ? It cannot be 
But that success attends him ; if mishap, 
Ere this he had returned, with fury driven 
By his avengers ; since no place like this 
Can fit his punishment, or their revenge. 
Methinks I feel new strength within me rise, 
Wings growing, and dominion given me large, 
Beyond this deep ; whatever draws me on, 
Or sympathy, or some connatural force. 
Powerful at greatest distance to unite. 
With secret amity, things of like kind. 
By secretest conveyance. Thou, my shade 
Inseparable, must with me along. 
For Death from Sin no power can separate. 
But lest the difficulty of passing back 

BOOK X.- 253-286,] PARADISE LOST. 255 

Stay his return, perhaps, over this gulf 

Impassable, impervious, let us try 

Adventurous work, yet to thy power and mine 

Not unagreeable, to found a path 

Over this main from Hell to that new World, 

Where Satan now prevails ; a monument ~ 

Of merit high to all the infernal host, 

Easing their passage hence, for intercourse, 

Or transmigration, as their lot shall lead, 

Nor can I miss the way, so strongly drawn 

By this new-felt attraction and instinct. 

Whom thus the meagre shadow answered soon : 
Go, whither fate, and inclination strong. 
Lead thee ; I shall not lag behind, nor err 
The way, thou leading ; such a scent I draw 
Of carnage, prey innumerable, and taste 
The savour of death from all things there that live ; 
Nor shall I to the work thou enterprisest 
Be wanting, but afford thee equal aid. 

So saying, with delight he snuffed the smell 
Of mortal change on earth. As when a flock 
Of ravenous fowl, though many a league remote, 
Against the day of battle, to a field, 
Where armies lie encamped, come flying, lured 
With scent of living carcases designed 
For death the following day, in bloody fight; 
So scented the grim feature, and upturned 
His nostril wide into the murky air, 
Sagacious of his quarry from so far. 
Then both, from out Hell gates, into the waste 
Wide anarchy of Chaos, damp and dark, 
Flew diverse ; and with power — their power was great — 
Hovering upon the waters, what they met, 
Solid or slimy, as in raging sea 

2^5 PARADISE LOST. [Book X.-287-316. 

Tossed up and down, together crowded drove, 

From each side shoahng towards the mouth of Hell : — 

As when two polar winds, blowing adverse 

Upon the Cronian sea,' together drive 

Mountains of ice, that stop the imagined way 

Beyond Petsora'' eastward, to the rich 

Cathaian coast.^ The aggregated soil. 

Death, with his mace petrific, cold and dry, 

As with a trident smote, and ^xed as firm 

As Delos, floating once \^ the rest his look 

Bound with Gorgonian rigour^ not to move ; 

And with asphaltic slime, broad as the gate, 

Deep to the roots ol Hell the gathered beach 

They fastened, and the mole immense wrought on, 

Over the foaming Deep, high-arched, a bridge 

Of length prodigious, joining to the wall 

Immovable of this now fenceless world. 

Forfeit to Death ; from hence a passage broad, 

Smooth, easy, inoffensive, down to hell. 

So, if great things to small may be compared, 

Xerxes, the liberty of Greece to yoke. 

From Susa, his Memnonian palace high. 

Came to the sea, and, over Hellespont 

Bridging his way, Europe with Asia joined, 

And scourged with many a stroke the indignant waves. 

Now had they brought the work by wondrous art 

Pontifical, a ridge of pendent rock. 

Over the vexed abyss, following the track 

Of Satan to the self-same place where he 

First lighted from his wing, and landed safe 

- €ronian sea. — Name given to the Polar Seas. 

» Petsora.—h. river descending to the Arctic Sea from the Ural mountains. 

* Cathaian coast. — China. 

* As Dvioe, floating once. — One of the Cyclades group of islands, in the ytgean Sea, wliich was said to have been 
a floating island, until Jupiter chained it to the bottom of the sea. 

* Gorgonian rigour.Ses Book II., line 611, and Note 3. 

Book X.— 317-348.! 


From out of Chaos, to the outside bare 

Of this round world. With pins of adamant 

And chains they made all fast, too fast they made 

And durable ! And now in little space 

The confines met of empyrean heaven 

And of this world ; and, on the left hand hell 

With long reach interposed ; three several ways 

In sight, to each of these three places led. 

And now their way to earth they had descried, 

To Paradise first tending ; when, behold ! 

Satan, in likeness of an angel bright. 

Betwixt the Centaur and the Scorpion' steering 

His zenith, while the sun in Aries rose, 

Disguised he came ; but those his children dear 

Their parent soon discerned, though in disguise. 

He, after Eve seduced, unminded slunk 

Into the wood fast by ; and changing shape 

To observe the sequel, saw his guileful act, 

By Eve, though all unweeting, seconded 

Upon her husband ; saw their shame that sought 

Vain covertures. But when he saw descend 

The Son of God to judge them, terrified 

He fled ; not hoping to escape, but shun 

The present ; fearing, guilty, what His wrath 

Might suddenly inflict ; that past, returned 

By night, and listening where the hapless pair 

Sat in their sad discourse, and various plaint, 

Thence gathered his own doom ; which understood 

Not instant, but of future time, with joy 

And tidings fraught, to hell he now returned, 

And at the brink of Chaos, near the foot 

Of this new wondrous pontifice, unhoped 

Centaur, Scorpion, Aries. — Signs in the Zodiac. 

2 H 

258 PARADISE LOST. [I^o"" X.-349-382. 

Met, who to meet him came, his offspring dear. 
Great jo*y was at their meeting, and at sight 
Of that stupendous bridge his joy increased. 
Lone he admiring stood, till Sin, his fair 
Enchanting daughter, thus the silence broke : 
O Parent, these are thy magniflc deeds, 
Thy trophies ! which thou view'st as not thine own ; 
Thou art their author, and prime architect ; 
For I no sooner in my heart divined — 
My heart, which by a secret harmony 
Still moves with thine, joined in connection sweet — 
That thou on earth hadst prospered, which thy looks 
Now also evidence, but straight I felt. 
Though distant from thee worlds between, yet felt 
That I must after thee, with this thy son ; 
Such fatal consequence unites us three. 
Hell could no longer hold us in her bounds, 
Nor this unvoyageable gulf obscure 
Detain from following thy illustrious track. 
Thou hast achieved our libertv, confined 
Within Hell-gates till now ; thou us empowered 
To fortify thus far, and overlay. 
With this portentous bridge, the dark abyss. 
Thine now is all this world ; thy virtue hath won 
What thy hands builded not ; thy wisdom gained, 
With odds, what war hath lost, and fully avenged 
Our foil in heaven. Here thou shalt monarch reign, 
There didst not. There let Him still victor sway. 
As battle hath adjudged ; from this new world 
Retiring, by his own doom alienated, 
And henceforth monarchy with thee divide 
Of all things, parted by the empyreal bounds, 
His quadrature, from thy orbicular world ; 
Or tr}' thee now more dangerous to his throne. 

X.— 383-416.] 


Whom thus the Prince of Darkness answered glad 
Fair daughter, and thou son and grandchild both ; 
High proof ye now have. given to be the race 
Of Satan — for I glory in the name, 
Antagonist of heaven's Almighty King — 
Amply have merited of me, of all 
The infernal empire, that so near heaven's door 
Triumphal with triumphal act have met. 
Mine, with this glorious work, and made one realm. 
Hell and this world, one realm, one continent 
Of easy thoroughfare. Therefore — while I 
Descend through darkness, on your road, with ease, 
To my associate Powers, them to acquaint 
With these successes, and with them rejoice — 
You two this way, among these numerous orbs, 
All yours, right down to Paradise descend ; 
There dwell, and reign in bliss : thence on the earth 
Dominion exercise, and in the air. 
Chiefly on Man, sole lord of all declared. 
Him first make sure your thrall, and lastly kill. 
My substitutes I send ye, and create 
Plenipotent on earth, of matchless might 
Issuing from me. On your joint vigour now, 
My hold of this new kingdom all depends, 
Through Sin to Death exposed by my exploit. 
If your joint power prevail, the affairs of hell 
No detriment need fear ; go, and be strong. 

So saying, he dismissed them. They with speed 
Their course through thickest constellations held, 
Spreading their bane ; the blasted stars looked wan ; 
And planets, planet-struck, real eclipse 
Then suffered. The other way Satan went down 
The causey to hell-gate. On either side 
Disparted Chaos overbuilt exclaimed,' 

• Exclaimed. — "Deep calling unto deep." (Ps. xlii. 7.) 

2 6o PARADISE LOST. [Book X.-417-448. 

And with rebounding surge the bars assailed, 

That scorned his nidignation. Through the gate, 

Wide open and unguarded, Satan passed, 

\nd all about found desolate ; for those, 

Appointed to sit there, had left their charge, 

Flown to the upper world ; the rest were all 

Far to the inland retired, about the walls 

Of Pandemonium, city and proud seat 

Of Lucifer, so by . allusion called 

Of that bright star to Satan paragoned 

There kept their watch the legions, while the grand 

In council sat, solicitous what chance 

Might intercept their emperor sent ; so he. 

Departing, gave command, and they observed. 

As when the Tartar, from his Russian foe, 

By Astracan, over the snowy plains 

Retires ; or Bactrian Sophi, from the horns 

Of Turkish crescent, leaves all waste beyond 

The realm of i\ladule, in his retreat 

To Tauris or Casbeen : so these, the late 

Heaven-banished host, left desert utmost hell 

Many a dark league, reduced in careful watch' 

Round their metropolis, and now expecting 

Each hour their great adventurer, from the search 

Of foreign worlds. He through the midst, unmarked, 

In show plebeian angel militant 

Of lowest order, passed ; and from the door 

Of that Plutonian hall, invisible 

Ascended his high throne, which, under state 

Of richest texture spread, at the upper end 

Was placed in regal lustre. Down a while 

He sat, and round about him saw, unseen. 

Paragoned. — Compared, equalled. 

' Reduced in careful watch. — Contracted, drawn in. 

p. 260. And now expecting 

Each hour their great adventurer, from the search 
Of foreign worlds. 

Book X , lines 43(}-44i. 

Cook X. — 449-482.] 



At last, as from a cloud, his fulgent head 

And shape star-bright appeared, or brighter, clad 

With what permissive glory since his fall 

Was left him, or false glitter. *AH amazed 

At that so sudden blaze, the Stygian throng 

Bent their aspect, and whom they wished beheld, 

Their mighty chief returned. Loud was the acclaim ; 

Forth rushed in haste the great consulting peers, 

Raised from their dark divan, and with like joy 

Congratulant approached him, who with hand 

Silence, and with these words, attention won : 

Thrones, Dominations, Princedoms, Virtues, Powers ! 
For in possession such, not only of right, 
I call ye, and declare ye now, returned 
Successful beyond hope, to lead ye forth 
Triumphant out of this infernal pit. 
Abominable, accursed, the house of woe, 
And dungeon of our tyrant — now possess, 
As lords, a spacious world, to our native heaven 
Little inferior, by my adventure hard. 
With peril great, achieved. Long were to tell 
What I have done, what suffered ; with what pain 
Voyaged the unreal, vast, unbounded Deep 
Of horrible confusion ; over which. 
By Sin and Death, a broad way now is paved, 
To expedite your glorious march ; but I 
Toiled out my uncouth passage, forced to ride 
The untractable Abyss, plunged in the womb 
Of unoriginal Night and Chaos wild. 
That, jealous of their secrets, fiercely opposed 
My journey strange, with clamorous uproar 
Protesting fate supreme ; thence, how I found 
The new-created world, which fame in heaven 
Long had foretold; a fabric wonderful, 

262 PARADISE LOST. [Book X.-483-sis. 

Of absolute perfection ; therein man, 

Placed in a Paradise, by our exile 

Made happy. Him by fraud I have seduced 

From his Creator ; and, the more to increase 

Your wonder, with an apple. He, thereat 

Offended — worth your laughter — hath given up 

Both his beloved Man and all this world, 

To Sin and Death a prey, and so to us. 

Without our hazard, labour, or alarm. 

To range in, and to dwell, and over man 

To rule as over all He should have ruled. 

True is, me also he hath judged, or rather 

Me not, but the brute serpent, in whose shape 

Man I deceived. That which to me belongs 

Is enmity, which he will put between 

Me and mankind. I am to bruise his heel ; 

His seed, when is not set, shall bruise my head. 

A world who would not purchase with a bruise. 

Or much more grievous pain ? Ye have the account 

Of my performance. What remains, ye gods. 

But up, and enter now into full bliss ? 

So having said, awhile he stood, expecting 
Their universal shout, and high applause, 
To fill his ear ; when, contrary, he hears, 
On all sides, from innumerable tongues, 
A dismal universal hiss, the sound 
Of public scorn. He wondered, but not long 
Had leisure, wondering at himself now more. 
His visage drawn he felt to sharp and spare, 
His arms clung to his ribs, his legs entwining 
Each other, till, supplanted, down he fell 
A monstrous serpent, on his belly prone. 
Reluctant, but in vain a greater Power 

' Reluctant, hut in vain. — Unwilling to move on the belly prone, but forced to do so. 

Dreadful was the din 
Of hissing through the hall, thick swarming now 
With complicated monsters, head and tail. 

Book X., lines 521- 

Book X.-5 16-546.] PARADISE LOST. 263 

Now ruled him, punished in the shape he sinned, 

According to his doom. He would have spoke, 

But hiss for hiss returned with forked tongue 

To forked tongue. For now were all transformed 

Alike, to serpents all, as accessories 

To his bold riot. Dreadful was the din 

Of hissino; throuo^h the hall, thick-swarminQ: now 

With complicated monsters,' head and tail. 

Scorpion, and Asp, and Amphisbaena dire. 

Cerastes horned, Hydrus, and EUops drear. 

And Dipsas — not so thick swarmed once the soil 

Bedropt with blood of Gorgon, or the isle 

Ophiusa— but still greatest he the midst, 

Now Dragon grown, larger than whom the sun 

Ingendered in the Pythian vale on slime, 

Huge Python,^ and his power no less he seemed 

Above the rest still to retain. They all 

Flim followed, issuing forth to the open field, 

Where all yet left of that revolted rout. 

Heaven-fallen, in station stood, or just array, 

Sublime with expectation when to see 

In triumph issumg forth their glorious chief 

They saw, but other sight instead — a crowd 

Of ugly serpents ! Horror on them fell. 

And horrid sympathy — for, what they saw, 

They felt themselves now changing. Down their arms, 

Down fell both spear and shield ; down they as fast, 

And the dire hiss renewed, and the dire form 

Catched, by contagion, like in punishment. 

As in their crime. Thus the applause they meant, 

Turned to exploding hiss, triumph to shame, 

' Complicated monsters. — The " scorpion " mentioned among these " monsters " was not a serpent ; the remainder are 
all mentioned by Lucan, Pliny, and other ancient writers. 

' Huge Python. — The great serpent said to have come from the slime left by the deluge in the time of Deucalion. 



[Book X.— 547-578. 

Cast on themselves from their own mouths. There stood 

A grove hard by, sprung up with this their change, 

His will who reigns above, to aggravate 

Their penance, laden with fair fruit, like that 

Which grew in Paradise, the bait of Eve 

Used by the tempter. On that prospect strange 

Their earnest eyes they fixed, imagining 

For one forbidden tree a multitude 

Now risen, to work them further woe or shame. 

Yet, parched with scalding thirst and hunger fierce, 

Though to delude them sent, could not abstain ; 

But on they rolled in heaps, and up the trees 

Climbing, sat thicker than the snaky locks 

That curled Megaera.' Greedily they plucked 

The fi"uitage fair to sight, like that which grew 

Near, that bituminous lake where Sodom flamed ; 

This more delusive, not the touch, but taste 

Deceived. They, fondly thinking to allay 

Their appetite with gust, instead of fruit 

Chewed bitter ashes, which the offended taste 

With spattering noise rejected. Oft they assayed, 

Hunger and thirst constraining; drugged as oft, 

With hatefulest disrelish writhed their jaws. 

With soot and cinders filled ; so oft they fell 

Into the same illusion, not as Man 

Whom they triumphed once lapsed. Thus were they plagued, 

And worn with famine, long and ceaseless hiss, 

Till their lost shape, permitted, they resumed, 

Yearly enjoined, some say, to undergo 

This annual humbling, certain numbered days, 

To dash their pride, and joy for man seduced. 

However, some tradition they dispersed 

Snaky locks thai curled Megccra. — A name given to the avenging deities — the Furies. 

HOOK X.-S79-609.] PARADISE LOST. 265 

Among the heathen, of their purchase got, 
And fabled how the serpent, whom they called 
Ophion,^ with Eurynome, the wide- 
En'croaching Eve, perhaps, had first the rule 
Of high Olympus, thence by Saturn driven 
And Ops, ere yet Dictaean Jove was born. 

Meanwhile in Paradise the hellish pair 
Too soon arrived ; Sin, there in power before, 
Once actual ; now in body, and to dwell 
Habitual habitant ; behind her, Death, 
Close following pace for pace, not mounted yet 
On his pale horse : to whom Sin thus began : 

Second of Satan sprung, all-conquering Death ! 
What thinkest thou of our empire now, though earned 
With travail difficult ? Not better far 
Than still at Hell's dark threshold to have sat 'watch, 
Unnamed, undreaded, and thyself half-starved ? 

Whom thus the sin-born monster answered soon : 
To me, who with eternal famine pine. 
Alike is Hell, or Paradise, or Heaven; 
There best, where most with ravine I may meet. 
Which here, though plenteous, all too little seems 
To stuff this maw, this vast un-hide-bound ^ corpse. 

To whom the incestuous mother thus replied : 
Thou, therefore, on these herbs, and fruits, and flowers. 
Feed first ; on each beast next, and fish, and fowl. 
No homely morsels ; and whatever thing 
The scythe of Time mows down, devour unspared. 
Till I, in man residing, through the race. 
His thoughts, his looks, words, actions, all infect. 
And season him thy last and . sweetest prey. 

' Ophion in Greek signifies a serpent, and Milton supposes the old Serpent may have been worshipped under that 
name. The reference to Eurynome and Eve is obscure, but it points, beyond doubt, to the element of ambition in 
Eve's fall. 

' Uii-hide-bound. — A body hanging loose, wanting filling up. 

2 I 



[Book X— 610-643. 

This said, they both betook them several ways, 
Both to destroy, or unimmortal make 
All kinds, and for destruction to mature 
Sooner or later ; which the Almighty seeing, 
From his transcendent seat the saints among. 
To those brio^ht Orders uttered thus his voice : 

See with what heat these dogs of hell advance 
To waste and havoc yonder world, which I 
So fair and good created, and had still 
Kept in that state, had not the folly of man 
Let in these wasteful furies, who impute 
Folly to me ; so doth the Prince of hell 
And his adherents, that with so much ease 
I suffer them to enter and possess 
A place so heavenly ; and, conniving, seem 
To gratify my scornful enemies. 
That laugh, as if, transported with some fit 
Of passion, I to them had quitted all, 
At random yielded up to their misrule ; 
And know not that I called, and drew them thither, 
My hell-hounds, to lick up the draff and filth 
Which man's polluting sin with taint hath shed 
On what was pure ; till, crammed and gorged, nigh burst 
With sucked and glutted offal, at one sling 
Of thy victorious arm, well-pleasing Son, 
Both Sin and Death, and yawning grave, at last. 
Through Chaos hurled, obstruct the mouth of hell 
For ever, and seal up his ravenous jaws. 
Then Heaven and Earth, renewed, shall be made pure 
To sanctity, that shall receive no stain : 
Till then, the curse pronounced on both precedes. 

He ended, and the heavenly audience loud 
Sung hallelujah, as the sound of seas, 
Through multitude that sung: Just are thy ways. 

This said, they both betook them several ways. 

Book A'., // 

Book X.-644-673-] PARADISE LOST. 267 

Righteous are thy decrees on all thy works ; 

Who can extenuate Thee ? Next, to the Son, 

Destined Restorer of mankind, by whom 

New heaven and earth shall to the a^es rise. 

Or down from heaven descend. Such was their song, 

While the Creator, calling forth by name 

His mighty Angels, gave them several charge, 

As sorted best with present things. The sun 

Had first his precept so to move, so shine, 

As might aflect the earth with cold and heat 

Scarce tolerable, and from the north to call 

Decrepit winter ; from the south to bring 

Solstitial summer's heat. To the blank moon 

Her office they prescribed ; to the other five 

Their planetary motions, and aspects. 

In sextile, square, and trine, and opposite, 

Of noxious efficacy, and when to join 

In synod unbenign and taught the fixed 

Their influence malignant when to shower. 

Which of them rising with the sun, or falling, 

Should prove tempestuous ; to the winds they set 

Their corners, when with bluster to confound 

Sea, air, and shore ; the thunder when to roll 

With terror through the dark aerial hall. 

Some say. He bid his Angels turn askance 

The poles of earth, twice ten degrees and more, 

From the sun's axle ; they with labour pushed 

Oblique the centric globe. Some say, the sun 

Was bid turn reins from the equinoctial road 

Like distant breadth to Taurus' with the seven 

' In synod unbenign.— Ox^t. of Milton's faults, even in the judgment of friendly critics, is a somewhat ostentatious 
display of learning. In the text the reader is favoured with something from the lore of astrology, in which the poet 
would seem to have been in some sense a believer. 

2 To Taunts, fir»ir.— This passage describes the supposed relation of the Earth to the signs of the Zodiac through the 
changes of seasons. 



[Book X.— 674-703. 

Atlantic Sisters, and the Spartan Twins, 

Up to the tropic Crab ; thence down amain 

By Leo, and the Virgin, and the Scales, 

As deep as Capricorn, to bring in change 

Of seasons to each clime, Else had the spring 

Perpetual smiled on earth with vernant flowers, 

Equal in days' and nights, except to those 

Beyond the polar circles ; to them day 

Had unbenighted shone, while the low sun, 

To recompense his distance, in their sight 

Had rounded still the horizon, and not known 

Or east or west, which had forbid the snow 

From cold Estotiland,' and south as far 

Beneath Magellan.^ At that tasted fruit, 

The sun, as from Thyestean ^ banquet, turned 

His course intended ; else, how had the world 

Inhabited, though sinless, more than now, 

Avoided pinching cold and scorching heat ? 

These changes in the heavens, though slow, produced 

Like change on sea and land ; sidereal blast. 

Vapour, and mist, and exhalation hot, 

Corrupt and pestilent : now, from the north 

Of Norumbega, and the Samoed^ shore. 

Bursting their brazen dungeon, armed with ice, 

And snow, and hail, and stormy gust and flaw, 

Boreas, and Caecias,^ and Argestes loud, 

And Thrascias, rend the woods, and seas upturn 

With adverse blasts upturns them from the south 

Notus, and Afer, black with thunderous clouds 

From Sierra Liona ; thwart of these, as fierce. 

' Estotiland. — Greenland. 

Magellan— Thz Straits of Magellan. 
" Tfiyestean.—A. reference to the story which describes Atreus as giving to his brother Thyestes the fiesh of his sous 
as food. From the sight of a father feeding upon his own children the sun is said to have turned away. 
* Norumbega.— In northern America. Sa/noed— In the north-east of Muscovy. 

' Boreas, and Ccecias, Sr'c. — The names which follow are names of winds, or of places where winds of an unusual 
sort prevail. 

X.— 704-737-] 


Forth rushed the Levant and the Ponent winds, 
Eurus and Zephyr, with their lateral noise, 
Sirocco and Libecchio. Thus beoran 
Outrage from lifeless things ; but Discord first, 
Daughter of Sin, among the irrational 
Death introduced, through fierce antipathy. 
Beast now with beast gan war, and fowl with fowl, 
And fish with fish : to graze the herb all leaving, 
Devoured each other ; nor stood much in awe 
Of. man, but fled him, or, with countenance grim, 
Glared on him passing. These were, from without, 
The growing miseries which Adam saw 
Already in part, though hid in gloomiest shade. 
To sorrow abandoned, but worse felt within ; 
And in a troubled sea of passion tost. 
Thus to disburden sought with sad complaint : 
Oh miserable of happy ! Is this the end 
Of this new glorious world, and me so late 
The glory of that glory ? who now, become 
Accursed of blessed, hide me from the face 
Of God, whom to behold was then my height 
Of happiness ! Yet well, if here would end 
The misery ; I deserved it, and would bear 
My own deservings. But this will not serve ; 
All that I eat or drink, or shall beget, 
Is propagated curse. Oh voice, once heard 
Delightfully — Increase and multiply; 
Now death to hear ! for what can I increase, 
Or multiply, but curses on my head ? 
Who of all ages to succeed, but, feeling 
The evil on him brought by me, will curse 
My head ? Ill fare our ancestor impure ! 
For this we may thank Adam ! but his thanks 
Shall be the execration. So, besides 

270 PARADISE LOST [B'^ok X.-738-771 

Mine own that bide upon me, all from me 
Shall with a fierce reflux on me redound ; 
On me, as on their natural centre, light 
Heavy, though in their place. Oh fleeting joys 
Of Paradise, dear bought with lasting woes ! 
Did I request thee, Maker, from my clay 
To mould me man ? Did I solicit thee 
From darkness to promote me, or here place 
In this delicious garden ? As my will 
Concurred not to my being, it were but right 
And equal to reduce me to my dust ; 
Desirous to resign, and render back, 
All I received ; unable to perform 
Thy terms too hard, by which I was to hold 
The good I sought not. To the loss of that, 
Sufficient penalty, why hast thou added 
The sense of endless woes ? Inexplicable 
Thy justice seems. Yet, to say truth, too late 
I thus contest ; then should have been refused 
Those terms, whatever, when they were proposed. 
Thou didst accept them : wilt thou enjoy the good, 
Then cavil the conditions ? and, though God 
Made thee without thy leave, what if thy son 
Prove disobedient ; and, reproved, retort, 
Wherefore didst thou beget me ? I sought it not. 
Wouldst thou admit for his contempt of thee 
That proud excuse ? Yet him, not thy election, 
But natural necessity, begot. 

God made thee of choice his own, and of his own 
To serve him ; thy reward was of his grace ; 
Thy punishment, then, justly is at his will. 
Be it so, for I submit ; his doom is fair, 
That dust I am, and shall to dust return. 
Oh, welcome hour whenever ! Why delays 



His hand to execute what his decree 

Fixed on this day ? Why do I overHve ? 

Why am I mocked with death, and lengthened out 

To deathless pain ? How gladly would I meet 

Mortality, my sentence, and be earth 

Insensible ! How glad would lay me down, 

As in my mother's lap ! There I should rest, 

And sleep secure ; his dreadful voice no more 

Would thunder in my ears ; no fear of worse 

To me, and to my offspring, would torment me 

With cruel expectation. Yet one doubt 

Pursues me still, lest all I cannot die ; 

Lest that pure breath of life — the spirit of Man 

Which God inspired, cannot together perish 

With this corporeal clod ; then, in the grave, 

Or in some other dismal place, who knows 

But I shall die a livings death ? Oh thought 

Horrid, if true ! Yet why ? It was but breath 

Of life that sinned. What dies but what had life 

And sin ? The body properly hath neither. 

All of me, then, shall die : let this appease 

The doubt, since human reach no farther knows : 

For though the Lord of all be infinite, 

Is his wrath also ? Be it, man is not so, 

But mortal doomed. How can he exercise 

Wrath without end on man, whom death must end ? 

Can he make deathless death ? That were to make 

Strange contradiction, which to God himself 

Impossible is held, as argument 

Of weakness, not of power. Will he draw out, 

For anger's sake, finite to infinite 

In punished man, to satisfy his rigour, 

Satisfied never ? That were to extend 

Flis sentence beyond dust and nature's law, 

PARADISE LOST. [Book X.-806-839. 

By which all causes else, according still 

To the reception of their matter, act, 

Not to the extent of their own sphere. But say 

That death be not one stroke, as I supposed, 

Bereaving sense, but endless misery 

From this day onward — which I feel begun 

Both in me, and without me — and so last 

To perpetuity : ah, me ! that fear 

Comes thundering back with dreadful revolution 

On my defenceless head. Both death and I 

Are found eternal, and incorporate both ; 

Nor I on my part single ; in me all 

Posterity stands cursed — fair patrimony 

That I must leave ye, sons ! Oh, were I able 

To waste it all myself, and leave ye none ! 

So disinherited, how would ye bless 

Me, now your curse ! Ah, why should all mankind, 

For one man's fault, thus guiltless be condemned. 

If guiltless ? But from me what can proceed 

But all corrupt ; both mind and will depraved, 

Not to do only, but to will the same 

With me ? How can they, then, acquitted stand 

In sight of God? Him, after all disputes, 

Forced I absolve : all my evasions vain. 

And reasonings, though through mazes, lead me still 

But to my own conviction : first and last 

On me — me only, as the source and spring 

Of all corruption, all the blame lights due ; 

So might the wrath ! Fond wish ! couldst thou support 

That burden, heavier than the earth to bear — 

Than all the world much heavier, though divided 

With that' bad woman ? Thus, what thou desirest, 

And what thou fearest, alike destroys all hope 

Of refuge, and concludes thee miserable 

Book X.-840-873.] PARADISE LOST. 2 73 

Beyond all past example and future ; 

To Satan only like, both crime and doom. 

conscience ! Into what abyss of fears 

And horrors hast thou driven me ; out of which 

1 find no way, from deep to deeper plunged ! 

Thus Adam to himself lamented loud. 
Through the still night ; not now, as ere man fell, 
Wholesome, and cool, and mild, but with black air 
Accompanied ; with damps and dreadful gloom, 
Which to his evil conscience represented 
All things with double terror, on the ground 
Outstretched he lay, on the cold ground, and oft 
Cursed his creation ; Death as oft accused 
Of tardy execution, since denounced 
The day of his offence. Why comes not Death, 
Said he, with one thrice-acceptable stroke 
To end me ? Shall truth fail to keep her word, 
Justice divine not hasten to be just ? 
But Death comes not at call ; justice divine 
Mends not her slowest pace for prayers or cries. 
O woods, O fountains, hillocks, dales, and bowers ! 
With other echo late I taught your shades 
To answer, and resound far other souq;. 
Whom thus afflicted, when sad Eve beheld, 
Desolate where she sat, approaching nigh, 
Soft words to his fierce passion she assayed ; 
But her, with stern regard, he thus repelled : 

Out of my sight, thou serpent ! That name best 
Befits thee, with him leagued, thyself as false 
And hateful. Nothing wants, but that thy shape, 
Like his, and colour serpentine, may show 
Thy inward fraud, to warn all creatures from thee 
Henceforth, lest that too heavenly form, pretended 
To hellish falsehood, snare them ! But for thee 

2 J 

2 74 PARADISE LOST. [Book X.-874 f)o8. 

I had persisted happy, had not thy pride 

And wandering vanity, when least was safe. 

Rejected my forewarning, and disdained 

Not to be trusted ; longing to be seen. 

Though by the Devil himself, him overweening 

To over-reach ; but, with the serpent meeting, 

Fooled and beguiled ; by him thou, I by thee, 

To trust thee from my side, imagined wise. 

Constant, mature, proof against all assaults ; 

And understood not all was but a show, 

Rather than solid virtue ; all but a rib 

Crooked by nature, bent, as now appears, 

More to the part sinister, from me drawn ; 

Well if thrown out, as supernumerary 

To my just number found. Oh ! why did God, 

Creator wise, that peopled highest heaven 

With spirits masculine, create at last 

This novelty on Earth, this fair defect 

Of nature, and not fill the world at once 

With men, as angels, without feminine ; 

Or find some other way to generate 

Mankind ? This mischief had not then befallen, 

And more that shall befall ; innumerable 

Disturbances on earth through female snares. 

And straight conjunction with this sex : for either 

He never shall find out fit mate, but such 

As some misfortune brings him, or mistake ; 

Or whom he wishes most shall seldom gain, 

Through her perverseness, but shall see her gained 

By a far worse ; or, if she love, withheld 

By parents ; or his happiest choice too late 

Shall meet, already linked and wedlock-bound 

To a fell adversary, his hate or shame ; 

Which infinite calamity shall cause 

To human life, and household peace confound. 

Book X. — 909-942.] 


He added not, and from her turned. But Eve, 
Not so repulsed, with tears that ceased not flowing, 
And tresses all disordered, at his feet 
Fell humble ; and, embracing them, besought 
His peace, and thus proceeded in her plaint: 

Forsake me not thus, Adam! witness. Heaven, 
What love sincere, and reverence in my heart, 
I bear thee, and unweeting have offended, 
Unhappily deceived! Thy suppliant, 
I beg, and clasp thy knees ; bereave me not, 
Whereon I live, thy gentle looks, thy aid, 
Thy counsel, in this uttermost distress 
My only strength and stay ; forlorn of thee. 
Whither shall I betake me, where subsist ? 
While yet we live, scarce one short hour perhaps, 
Between us two let there be peace ; both joining, 
As joined in injuries, one enmity 
Against a foe by doom express assigned us, 
That cruel serpent. On me exercise not 
Thy hatred for this misery befallen ; 
On me, already lost, me than thyself 
More miserable. Both have sinned ; but thou 
Against God only, I against God and thee ; 
And to the place of judgment will return. 
There with my cries importune Heaven, that all 
The sentence, from thy head removed, may light 
On me, sole cause to thee of all this woe ; 
Me — me only, just object of His ire! 

She ended, weeping ; and her lowly plight. 
Immovable till peace obtained from fault 
Acknowledged and deplored, in Adam wrought 
Commiseration. Soon his heart relented, 
Towards her, his life so late, and sole delight, 
Now at his feet submissive in distress ; 

276 PARADISE LOST. [Book X -943-976. 

Creature so fair his reconcilement seeking, 

His counsel, whom she had displeased, his aid. 

As one disarmed, his anger all he lost, 

And thus with peaceful words upraised her soon : 

Unwary, and too desirous, as before, 
So now, of what thou knowest not, who desirest 
The punishment all on thyself ; alas ! 
Bear thine own first, ill able to sustain 
His full wrath, whose thou feelcst as yet least part, 
And my displeasure bearest so ill. If prayers 
Could alter high decrees, I to that place 
Would speed before thee, and be louder heard, 
That on my head all might be visited ; 
Thy frailty and infirmer sex forgiven ; 
To me committed, and by me exposed. 
But rise ; let us no more contend, nor blame 
Each other, blamed enough elsewhere ; but strive. 
In offices of love, how we may lighten 
Each other's burden, in our share of woe, 
Since this day's death denounced, if aught I see. 
Will prove no sudden, but a slow-paced evil — 
A long day's dying to augment our pain, 
And to our seed (O hapless seed !) derived. 

To whom thus Eve, recovering heart, replied : — 
Adam, by sad experiment I know 
How little weight my words with thee can find, 
Found so erroneous, thence by just event 
Found so unfortunate : nevertheless. 
Restored by thee, vile as I am, to place 
Of new acceptance, hopeful to regain 
Thy love, the sole contentment of my heart, 
Living or dying, from, thee I will not hide 
Wliat thoughts in my unquiet breast are risen, 
Tending to some relief of our extremes, 

Book X. — 977-1010.] 



Or end ; though sharp and sad, yet tolerable, 

As in our evils, and of easier choice. 

If care of our descent perplex us most, 

Which must be born to certain woe, devoured 

By death at last — and miserable it is 

To be to others cause of misery, 

Our own begotten, and of our loins to bring 

Into this cursed world a woeful race. 

That, after wretched life," must be at last 

Food for so foul a monster — in thy power 

It lies yet, ere conception, to prevent 

The race unblest, to being yet unbegot. 

Childless thou art, childless remain ; so Death 

Shall be deceived his glut, and with us two 

Be forced to satisfy his ravenous maw. 

But if thou judge it hard and difficult. 

Conversing, looking, loving, to abstain 

From love's due rights, nuptial embraces sweet, 

And, with desire, to languish without hope, 

Before the present object languishing 

With like desire, which would be miser)^ 

And torment less than none of what we dread, 

Then, both ourselves and seed at once to free 

From what we fear for both, let us make short. 

Let us seek Death ; or, he not found, supply 

With our own hands his office on ourselves. 

Why stand we longer shivering under fears 

That show no end but Death ; and have the power, 

Of many ways to die, the shortest choosing, 

Destruction with destruction to destroy ? 

She ended here, or vehement despair 
Broke off the rest ; so much of Death her thoughts 
Had entertained, as dyed her cheeks with pale. 
But Adam, with such counsel nothing swayed, 



To better hopes his more attentive mind 
Labouring had raised ; and thus to Eve repHed : 
Eve, thy contempt of life and pleasure seems 
To argue in thee something more sublime 
And excellent than what thy mind contemns; 
But self-destniction therefore sought, refutes 
That excellence thought in thee; and implies, 
Not thy contempt, but anguish and regret 
For loss of life and pleasure overloved. 
Or if thou covet death, as utmost end 
Of misery, so thinking to evade 
The penalty pronounced, doubt not but God 
Hath wiselier armed his vengeful ire, than so 
To be forestalled ; much more I fear lest death, 
So snatched, will not exempt us from the pain 
We are by doom to pay ; rather, such acts 
Of contumacy will provoke the Highest 
To make death in us live. Then let us seek 
Some safer resolution, which methinks 
I have in view, calling to mind with heed 
Part of our sentence, that thy seed shall bruise 
The serpent's head — piteous amends ! unless 
Be meant, whom I conjecture, our grand foe, 
Satan, who, in the serpent, hath contrived 
Ag^ainst us this deceit — to crush his head 
Would be revenge indeed ! which will be lost. 
By death brought on ourselves, or childless days 
Resolved, as thou proposest ; so our foe 
Shall 'scape his punishment ordained, and we, 
Instead, shall double ours upon our heads. 
No more be mentioned then, of violence 
Against ourselves, and wilful barrenness 
That cuts us off from hope, and savours only 
Rancour and pride, impatience and despite, 

Book X. — 1045-1076.] 



Reluctance against God, and his just yoke 

Laid on our necks. Remember with what mild 

And gracious temper he both heard and judged, 

Without wrath or reviling. We expected 

Immediate dissolution, which we thought 

Was meant by death that day ; when, lo ! to thee 

Pains only in child-bearing were foretold, 

And bringing forth, soon recompensed with joy, 

Fruit of thy womb. On me the curse aslope 

Glanced on the ground ; with labour I must earn 

My bread — what harm ? Idleness had been worse ; 

My labour will sustain me ; and, lest cold 

Or heat should injure us, his timely care 

Hath, unbesought, provided, and his hands 

Clothed us, unworthy, pitying while he judged ; 

How much more, if we pray him, will his ear 

Be open, and his heart to pity incline. 

And teach us further by what means to shun 

The inclement seasons, rain, ice, hail, and snow ! 

Which now the sky, with various face, begins 

To show us in this mountain ; while the winds 

Blow moist and keen, shattering the graceful locks 

Of these fair-spreading trees ; which bids us seek 

Some better shroud, some better warmth, to cherish 

Our limbs benumbed, ere this diurnal star 

Leave cold the night, how we his gathered beams 

Reflected may with matter sere foment ; 

Or, by collision of two bodies, grind 

The air attrite to fire : as late the clouds 

Justling, or pushed with winds, rude in their shock. 

Tine' the slant lightning, whose thwart flame, driven down, 

Kindles the gummy bark of fir or pine, 

• Tine. — Kindle. Anglo-Saxon. 



[Book X. — 1077-1104. 

And sends a comfortable heat from far, 
Which might supply the sun : such fire to use. 
And what may else be remedy or cure 
To evils which our own misdeeds have wrought, 
He will instruct us praying, and of grace 
Beseechincf him. So as we need not fear 
To pass commodiously this life, sustained 
By him with many comforts, till we end 
In dust, our final rest and native home. 
What better can we do, than, to the place 
Repairing where he judged us, prostrate fall 
Before him, reverent ; and there confess 
Humbly our faults, and pardon beg, with tears 
Watering the ground, and with our sighs the air 
Frequenting,' sent from hearts contrite, in sign 
Of sorrow unfeigned, and humiliation meek ? 
Undoubtedly he will relent, and turn 
From his displeasure ; in whose look serene, 
When angry most he seemed, and most severe, 
W^hat else but favour, grace, and mercy, shone ? 

So spake our father, penitent ; nor Eve 
Felt less remorse : they, forthwith to the place 
Repairing where he judged them, prostrate fell 
Before him, reverent, and both confessed 
Humbly their faults, and pardon begged, with tears 
Watering the ground ; and with their sighs the air 
Frequenting, sent from hearts contrite, in sign 
Of sorrow unfeigned, and humiliation meek. 

Frequenting. — Filling. 


The Son of God presents to His Father the prayers of our first parents now repenting, and intercedes for them : God 
accepts them, but declares that they must no longer abide in Paradise ; sends Mictfael with a band of cherubim 
to dispossess them ; but first to reveal to Adam future things : Michael's coming down. Adam shows to Eve 
certain ominous signs : he discerns Michael's approach ; goes out to meet him : the angel denounces their departure. 
Eve's lamentation. Adam pleads, but submits : the angel leads him up to a high hill ; sets before him in vision 
what shall happen till the flood. 

Regenerate grow instead, that sighs now breathed 

Inspired, and winged for Heaven with speedier flight 

Not of mean suitors ; nor important less 

Seemed their petition, than when the ancient pair, 

In fables old, less ancient yet than these, 

Deucalion and chaste Pyrrha, to restore 

The race ot mankind drowned, before the shrine 

Of Themis stood devout. To Heaven their prayers 

F lew up, nor missed the way, by envious winds 

Blown vagabond or frustrate :^ in they passed 

Dimensionless through Heavenly doors ; then clad 

With incense, where the golden altar fumed. 

By their great Intercessor, came in sight 

Before the Father's throne : them the glad Son 

Presenting, thus to intercede began : 

See, Father, what first-fruits on Earth are sprung 
From thy implanted grace in man ; these sighs 

Unutterable, which the Spirit of prayer 

Than loudest oratory. Yet* their port 

Prevenient. — Going before, before sought. 

' Vagabond or frustrate. — Not diverted or made vain 

2 K 



[Book XI. -24-57. 

And prayers, which, in this golden censer, mixed 

With incense, I, thy priest, before thee bring; 

Fruits of more pleasing savour, from thy seed 

Sown with contrition in his heart, than those 

Which, his own hand manuring, all the trees 

Of Paradise could have produced, ere fallen 

From innocence. Now, therefore, bend thine ear 

To supplication ; hear his sighs, though mute, 

Unskilful with what words to pray ; let me 

Interpret for him, me, his Advocate 

And propitiation ; all his works on me. 

Good, or not good, ingraft ; my merit those 

Shall perfect, and for these my death shall pay. 

Accept me ; and, in me, from these receive 

The smell of peace toward mankind ; let him live 

Before thee reconciled, at least his days 

Numbered, though sad, till death, his doom — which 1 

To mitigate thus plead, not to reverse — 

To better life shall yield him, where with me 

All my redeemed may dwell in joy and bliss, 

Made one with me, as I with thee am one. 

To whom the Father, without cloud, serene : 
All thy request for Man, accepted Son, 
Obtain ; all thy request was my decree. 
But, longer in that Paradise to dwell. 
The law I gave to nature him forbids ; 
Those pure immortal elements that know 
No gross, no unharmonious mixture foul. 
Eject him, tainted now, and purge him off, 
As a distemper gross, to air as gross. 
And mortal food, as may dispose him best 
For dissolution wrought by sin, that first 
Distempered all things, and of incorrupt 
Corrupted. I, at first, with two fair gifts 

XI.— 58-89.] 


Created him endowed, with happiness, 

And immortality ; that fondly lost. 

This other served but to eternise woe, 

Till I provided death : so death becomes 

His final remedy, and, after life, 

Tried in sharp tribulation, and refined 

By faith and faithful works, to second life, 

Waked in the renovation of the just, 

Resigns him up with heaven and earth renewed. 

But let us call to synod all the blest 

Through heaven's wide bounds ; from them I will not 

My judgments, how with mankind I proceed. 

As how with peccant Angels late they saw. 

And in their state, though firm, stood more confirmed. 

He ended, and the Son gave signal high 
To the bright minister that watched. He blew 
His trumpet, heard in Oreb since, perhaps. 
When God descended, and, perhaps, once more 
To sound a general doom. The angelic blast 
Filled all the regions. From their blissful bowers 
Of amaranthine shade, fountain, or spring, 
By the waters of life, where'er they sat 
In fellowships of joy, the Sons of Light 
Hasted, resorting to the summons high, 
And took their seats, till, from his throne supreme, 
The Almighty thus pronounced his sovereign will : 

O Sons, like one of us Man is become. 
To know both good and evil, since his taste 
Of that defended' fruit ; but let him boast 
His knowledge of good lost, and evil got ; 
Happier, had it sufficed him to have known 
Good by itself, and evil not at all. 

Defended. — Forbidden. 



He sorrows now, repents, and prays contrite, 

My motions in him ; longer than they move,' 

His heart I know how variable and vain, 

Self-left. Lest, therefore, his now bolder hand 

Reach also of the tree of life, and eat. 

And live for ever, — dream at least to live 

For ever — to remove him I decree, 

And send him from the garden forth to till 

The ground. whence he was taken, fitter soil. 

Michael, this my behest have thou in charge ; 

Take to thee from amono^ the cherubim 

Thy choice of flaming warriors, lest the Fiend, 

Or in behalf of man, or to invade 

Vacant possession, some new trouble raise. 

Haste thee, and from the Paradise of God, 

Without remorse, drive out the sinful pair ; 

From hallowed ground the unholy ; and denounce 

To them, and to their progeny, from thence 

Perpetual banishment. Yet, lest they faint 

At the sad sentence rigorously urged — 

For I behold them softened, and with tears 

Bewailing their excess— all terror hide. 

If patiently thy bidding they obey, 

Dismiss them not disconsolate ; reveal 

To Adam what shall come in future days, 

As I shall thee enlighten ; intermix 

My covenant in the woman's seed renewed. 

So send them forth, though sorrowing, yet in peace. 

And, on the east side of the garden, place. 

Where entrance up from Eden easiest climbs, 

Cherubic watch ; and of a sword the flame 

Wide-waving, all approach far off to fright, 

And guard all passage to the tree of life, 

Lest Paradise a receptacle prove 

Book XI.— 124-154.] 



To spirits foul, and all my trees their prey, 

With whose stolen fruit Man once more to delude. 

He ceased ; and the archangelic Power prepared 
For swift descent ; with him the cohort bright 
Of watchful Cherubim. Four faces each 
Had, like a double Janus ;' all their shape 
Spangled with eyes more numerous than those 
Of Arijus' and more wakeful than to drowse, 
Charmed with Arcadian pipe, the pastoral reed 
Of Hermes, or his opiate rod. Meanwhile, 
To re-salute the world with sacred light, 
Leucothea^ waked, and with fresh dews embalmed 
The earth ; when Adam and first matron Eve 
Had ended now their orisons, and found 
Strength added from above, new hope to spring 
Out of despair, joy, but with fear yet linked ; 
Which thus to Eve his welcome words renewed : 

Eve, easily may faith admit that all 
The good which we enjoy from heaven descends ; 
But that from us auoht should ascend to Heaven 
So prevalent, as to concern the mind 
Of God, high-blest, or to inclme His will, 
Hard to belief may seem; yet this will prayer, 
Or one short sigh of human breath, upborne 
Even to the seat of God. For since I sought 
By prayer the offended Deity to appease, 
Kneeled, and before him humbled all my heart, 
Methought I saw him placable and mild, 
Bendmg his ear ; persuasion in me grew 
That I was heard with favour ; peace returned 
Home to my breast, and to my memory 

' Double jfanus. — A favourite Roman deity, described as ha\-ing two faces. 

' Argus.-^Son of Jupiter, who had a hundred eyes ; but being hushed to sleep by the pipe of Hermes (Mercury), 
that deity cut off his head. 

^ Lcticotlica. — A Grecian divinity— a goddess of the morning and of the sea. 



LBooic Xl.-i55-:«8. 

His promise, that thy seed shall bruise our Foe ; 

Which, then not minded in dismay, yet now 

Assures me that the bitterness of death 

Is past, and we shall live. Whence, hail to thee, 

Eve, rightly called Mother of all Mankind, 

Mother of all things living, since by thee 

Man is to live, and all things live for Man. 

To whom thus Eve, with sad demeanour, meek : 
Ill-worthy I such title should belong 
To me, transgressor, who, for thee ordained 
A help, became thy snare : to me reproach 
Rather belongs, distrust, and all dispraise. 
But infinite in pardon was my Judge, 
That I, who first brought death on all, am graced 
The source of life ; next favourable thou, 
Who highly thus to entitle me vouchsafest, 
Far other name deserving. But the field 
To labour calls us, now with sweat imposed. 
Though after sleepless night ; for see ! the Morn, 
All unconcerned with our unrest, begins 
Her rosy progress, smiling. Let us forth, 
I never from thy side henceforth to stray, 
Where'er our day's work lies, though now enjoined 
Laborious till day droop. While here we dwell, 
What can be toilsome in these pleasant walks ? 
Here let us live, though in fallen state, content. 

So spake, so wished, much-humbled Eve ; but fate 
Subscribed not. Nature first gave signs, impressed 
On bird, beast, air — air suddenly eclipsed, 
After short blush of morn. Nigh, in her sight. 
The bird of Jove, stooped from his aery tour, 
Two birds of gayest plume before him drove ; 
Down from a hill, the beast that reigns in woods. 
First hunter then, pursued a gentle brace. 

/. 286. 

XI.— 189-220.] 


Goodliest of all the forest, hart and hind ; 
Direct to the eastern gate was bent their flight. 
Adam observed, and, with his eye the chase 
Pursuing, not unmoved, to Eve thus spake : 

O Eve, some further change awaits us nigh, 
Which Heaven, by these mute signs in Nature, shows 
Forerunners of His purpose; or to warn 
Us, haply too secure of our discharge 
From penalty, because from death released 
Some days ; how long, and what till then our life, 
Who knows ? or more than this, that we are dust, 
And thither must return, and be no more ? 
Why else this double object in our sight, 
Of flight pursued in the air, and o'er the ground. 
One way the self-same hour ? Why, in the east, 
Darkness ere day's mid-course, and morning-light 
More orient in yon western cloud, that draws 
O'er the blue firmament a radiant white. 
And slow descends with something heavenly fraught ? 

He erred not ; for, by this, the heavenly bands 
Down from a sky of jasper lighted now 
In Paradise, and on a hill made halt; 
A glorious apparition, had not doubt 
And carnal fear that day dimmed Adam's eye. 
Not that more glorious, when the Angels met 
Jacob in Mahanaim,' where he saw 
The field pavilioned with his guardians bright ; 
Nor that which on the flaming mount appeared 
In Dothan,^ covered with a camp of fire. 
Against the Syrian king, who, to surprise 
One man, assassin-like, had levied war. 
War unproclaimed. The princely hierarch 

' 'Jacob in Mahanaim. — Gen. xxxii. 

• Dothan.— z Kings vi. 13 — 17. 


In their bright stand there left his Powers, to seize 

Possession of the garden. He alone, 

To find where Adam sheltered, took his way, 

Not unperceived of Adam ; who to' Eve, 

While the great visitant approached, thus spake : 

Eve, now expect great tidings, which, perhaps, 
Of us will soon determine, or impose 
New laws to be observed ; for I descry. 
From yonder blazing cloud that veils the hill, 
One of the heavenly host, and, by his gait. 
None of the meanest ; some great Potentate, 
Or of the Thrones above, such majesty 
Invests his coming; yet not terrible, 
That I should fear, nor sociably mild. 
As Raphael, that I should much confide. 
But solemn and sublime ; whom, not to offend. 
With reverence I must meet, .and thou retire. 

He ended ; and the Archangel soon drew nig] 
Not in his shape celestial, but as man 
Clad to meet man. Over his lucid arms 
A military vest of purple flowed. 
Livelier than Meliboean, or the grain 
Of Sarra, worn by kings and heroes old 
In time of truce: Iris had dipt the woof. 
His starry helm unbuckled showed him prime 
In manhood where youth ended ; by his side, 
As in a glistering zodiac, hung the sword, 
Satan's dire dread, and in his hand the spear. 
Adam bowed low. He, kingly, from his state 
Inclined not, but his coming thus declared : 

Adam, Heaven's high behest no preface needs 
Sufficient that thy prayers are heard ; and Death, 
Then due by sentence when thou didst transgress, 
Defeated of his seizure many days. 

Book XI.— 255-286.] 



Given thee of grace, wherein thou mayst repent, 
And one bad act with many deeds well done 
Mayst cover : well may, then, thy Lord, appeased, 
Redeem thee quite from Death's rapacious claim. 
But longer in this Paradise to dwell 
Permits not. To remove thee I am come, 
And send thee from the garden forth, to till 
The ground whence thou wast taken, fitter soil. 

Pie added not ; for Adam, at the news 
Heart-struck, with chilling gripe of sorrow stood, 
That all his senses bound : Eve, who unseen, 
Yet all had heard, with audible lament 
Discovered soon the place of her retire 

O unexpected stroke, worse than of Death ! 
Must I thus leave thee, Paradise ? thus leave 
Thee, native soil ! these happy walks and shades, 
Fit haunt of gods ? where I had hope to spend. 
Quiet, though sad, the respite of that day 
That must be mortal to us both ? O flowers, 
That never will in other climate grow, 
My early visitation, and my last 
At even, which I bred up with tender hand 
P'^rom the first opening bud, and gave ye names ! 
Who now shall rear ye to the sun, or rank 
Your tribes, and water from the ambrosial fount ? 
Thee, lastly, nuptial bower, by me adorned 
With what to sight or smell was sweet, from thee 
How shall I part, and whither wander down 
Into a lower world, to this obscure 
And wild ? How shall we breathe in other air 
Less pure, accustomed to immortal fruits ? 

Whom thus the Angel interrupted mild: 

' Her retire. — Her retirement, retreat. 

2 L 

2 go PARADISE LOST. FBook XI.-287-320 

Lament not, Eve, but patiently resign 
What justly thou hast lost, nor set thy heart. 
Thus over fond, on that which is not thine. 
T hy going is not lonely ; with thee goes 
Thy husband ; him to follow thou art bound ; 
Where he abides, think there thy native soil. 

Adam, by this from the cold sudden damp 
Recovering, and his scattered spirits returned, 
To Michael thus his humble words addressed : 

Celestial, whether among the Thrones, or named 
Of them the Highest, for such of shape may seem 
Prince above princes ! gently hast thou told 
Thy message, which might else in telling wound, 
And, in performing, end us. What besides 
Of sorrow, and dejection, and despair, 
Our frailty can sustain, thy tidings bring,' 
Departure from this happy place — our sweet 
Recess, and only consolation left 
Familiar to our eyes — ail places else 
Inhospitable appear, and desolate. 
Nor knowing us, nor known : and if, by prayer 
Incessant, I could hope to change the will 
Of Him who all things can, I would not cease 
To weary him with my assiduous cries. 
But prayer against his absolute decree 
No more avails than breath against the wind, 
Blown stiflinof back on him that breathes it forth. 
Therefore to His Q^reat biddino^ I submit. 
This most afflicts me ; that, departing hence, 
As from His face I shall be hid, deprived 
His blessed countenance. Here I could frequent. 
With worship, place by place where he vouchsafed 
Presence Divine, and to my sons relate, 
On this mount He appeared ; under this tree 

XL— 321-354-J 


Stood visible ; among these pines his voice 

I heard; here with Him at this fountain talked. 

So many grateful altars I would rear 

Of grassy turf, and pile up every stone 

Of lustre from the brook, in memory 

Or monument to ages, and thereon 

Offer sweet-smelling gums, and fruits, and flowers. 

In yonder nether world where shall I seek 

His bright appearances, or footstep trace ? 

For though I fled him angry, yet, recalled 

To life prolonged and promised race, I now 

Gladly behold though but his utmost skirts 

Of glory, and far off his steps adore. 

To whom thus Michael, with regard benign : 
Adam, thou knowest heaven His, and all the earth; 
Not this rock only. His omnipresence fills 
Land, sea, and air, and every kind that lives, 
Fomented by his virtual power, and warmed. 
All the earth he gave thee to possess and rule, 
No despicable gift. Surmise not, then. 
His presence to these narrow bounds confined 
Of Paradise, or Eden ; this had been 
Perhaps, thy capital seat, from whence had spread, 
All generations, and had hither come. 
From all the ends of the Earth, to celebrate 
And reverence thee, their great progenitor, 
But this pre-eminence thou hast lost, brought down 
To dwell on even ground now with thy sons. 
Yet doubt not but in valley and in plain, 
God is, as here, and will be found alike 
Present ; and of his presence many a sign 
Still following thee, still compassing thee round 
With goodness and Paternal love, his face 
Express, and of his steps the track divine. 

PARADISE LOST. [Book XI.- 35$ 386 

Which that thou mayst beHeve, and be confirmed 

Ere thou from hence depart, know, I am sent 

To shew thee what shall come in future days 

To thee, and to thy offspring; good with bad 

Expect to hear, supernal grace contending 

With sinfulness of men ; thereby to learn 

True patience, and to temper joy with fear 

And pious sorrow, equally inured 

By moderation either state to bear, 

Prosperous or adverse. So shalt thou lead 

Safest thy life, and best prepared endure 

Thy mortal passage when it comes. Ascend 

This hill ; let Eve — for I have drenched her eyes — 

Here sleep below, while thou to foresight wakcst ; 

As once thou sleptest, while she- to life was formed. 

To whom thus Adam gratefully replied : 
Ascend, I follow thee, safe guide, the path 
Thou leadest me ; and to the hand of Heaven submit, 
However chastening ; to the evil turn 
My obvious breast, arming to overcome 
By suffering, and earn rest from labour won, 
If so I may attain. So both ascend 
In the visions of God. It was a hill, 
Of Paradise the highest, from whose top, 
The hemisphere of earth, in clearest ken, 
Stretched out to the amplest reach of prospect, lay. 
Not higher that hill, nor wider looking round. 
Whereon, for different cause, the Tempter set 
Our second Adam, in the wilderness. 
To show him all Earth's kingdoms,' and their glory. 
His eye might there command wherever stood 
City of old or modern fame, the seat 

' All Earth's kingdoms. — This description is in part literal; or seems to be so ; but Milton must have known that, 
from many causes, his readers could only regard it as a vision. 

Book XL- 387-416.] 


Of mightiest empire, from the destined walls 

Of Cambalu, seat of Cathaian' Cham, 

And Samarcand by Oxus, Temirs"" throne, 

To Paquin, of Sinaean kings ; and thence 

To Agra, and Labor, of Great Mogul, 

Down to the golden Chersonese ;^ or where 

The Persian in Ecbatan sat, or since 

In Hispahan ; or where the Russian Czar 

In Moscow ; or the Sultan in Bizance,'^ 

Turchestan-born ;^ nor could his eye not ken 

The empire of Negus to his utmost port 

Ercoco, and the less maritime kings, 

Mombaza, and Ouiloa, and Melind, 

And Sofala — thought Ophir — to the realm 

Of Congo, and Angola farthest south : 

Or thence from Niger flood to Atlas mount, 

The kingdoms of Almanzor, Fez and Sus, 

Morocco, and Algiers, and Tremisen ; 

On Europe thence, and where Rome was to sway 

The world. In spirit, perhaps, he also saw 

Rich Mexico, the seat of Montezume, 

And Cusco in Peru, the richer seat 

Of Atabalipa, and yet unspoiled 

Guiana, whose great city Geryon's sons 

Call El Dorado.^ But to nobler sights 

Michael from Adam's eyes the film removed, 

Which that false fruit, that promised clearer sight, 

Had. bred ; then purged with euphrasy and rue^ 

The visual nerve, for he had much to see. 

And from the well of life three drops instilled. 

' Calhaian.— CnO^M was accounted the residence of the great Zinghis Khan. 

^ Temir. — Timiir Lung — Tamerlane. 

^ Golden Chersonese. — Peninsula of Molucca. 

* Bisance. — Byzantium, Constantinople. 

' Turchesean-born.—'DescanAcd from a race which had migrated from Turchcstan. 

* El Dorado.— The country in which the unfortunate Raleigh had hoped to realise large wealth. 

1 Euphrasy and r«^.— Fomentations from the plants so named were supposed to be good for the sight 

294 PARADISE LOST. TBook XI.-41 7-446. 

So deep the power of these ingredients pierced, 
Even to the inmost seat of mental sight, 
That Adam, now enforced to close his eyes, 
Sunk down, and all his spirits became entranced; 
But him the gentle angel by the hand 
Soon raised, and his attention thus recalled : 

Adam, now ope thine eyes, and fn'st behold 
The effects which thy original crime hath wrought 
In some to spring from thee, who never touched 
The excepted tree, nor with the snake conspired, 
Nor sinned thy sin ; yet from that sin derive 
Corruption, to bring forth more violent deeds. 

His eyes he opened, and beheld a field, 
Part arable and tilth, whereon were sheaves 
New reaped; the other part, sheep-walks and folds; 
In the midst an altar, as the landmark stood, 
Rustic, of grassy sward. Thither, anon, 
A sweaty reaper from his tillage brought 
First-fruits, the green ear, and the yellow sheaf, 
Unculled, as came to hand ; a shepherd next, 
More meek, came with the firstlings of his flock, 
Choicest and best ; then, sacrificing, laid 
The . inwards and their fat, with incense strewed, 
On the cleft wood, and all due rites performed. 
His offering soon propitious fire from heaven 
Consumed with nimble glance, and grateful steam ; 
The other's not, for his was not sincere. 
Whereat he inly raged, and, as they talked, 
Smote him into the midriff with a stone 
That beat out life.' He fell, and, deadly pale. 

- "And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. And in process of time it came to pass, 
thot Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his 
flock, and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering : but unto Cain and to his offering 
he had not respect. And Cam was very wroth, and his countenance fell. . . . And Cain talked with Abel his 
brother : and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him." 
'Gen. iv. 2 — 8.) 

Hook XI.— 447-479.] 


Groaned out his soul, with gushing blood effused. 
Much at that sight was Adam in his heart 
Dismayed, and thus in haste to the Angel cried : 

O Teacher, some great mischief hath befallen 
To that meek man, who well had sacrificed ; 
Is piety thus, and pure devotion, paid? 

To whom Michael thus, he also moved, replied: 
These two are brethren, Adam, and to come 
Out of thy loins. The unjust the just hath slain, 
For envy that his brother's offering found 
From Heaven acceptance ; but the bloody fact 
Will be avenged, and the other's faith, approved, 
Lose no reward, though here thou see him die, 
Rollino: in dust and orore. To which our sire : 

Alas ! both for the deed, and for the cause ! 
But have I now seen death ? Is this the way 
I must return to native dust ? O sight 
Of terror, foul and ugly to behold ! 
Horrid to think, how horrible to feel ! 

To whom thus Michael : Death thou hast seen 
In his first shape on Man ; but many shapes 
Of Death, and many are the ways that lead 
To his grim cave ; all dismal, yet to sense 
More terrible at the entrance than within. 
Some, as thou sawest, by violent stroke shall die ; 
By fire, flood, famine ; by intemperance more 
In meats and drinks, which on earth shall bring 
Diseases dire, of which a monstrous crew 
Before thee shall appear, that thou mayst know 
What misery the inabstinence of Eve 
Shall bring on men. Immediately a place 
Before his eyes appeared, sad, noisome, dark, 
A lazar-house' it seemed, wherein were laid 

A lazar-hoiise. — A hospit;il. 

PARADISE LOST. f^ooK XI.-480-S.2. 

Numbers of all diseased ; all maladies 
Of ghastly spasm, or racking torture, qualms 
Of heart-sick agony, all feverous kinds, 
Convulsions, epilepsies, fierce catarrhs, 
Intestine stone and ulcer, cholic pangs, 
Demoniac frenzy, moping melancholy. 
And moon-struck madness, pining atrophy,* 
Marasmus,^ and wide-wasting pestilence, 
Dropsies, and asthmas, and joint-racking rheums, 
Dire was the tossing, deep the groans. Despair 
Tended the sick, busiest from couch to couch ; 
And over them' triumphant Death his dart 
Shook, but delayed to strike, though oft invoked 
With vows, as their chief good, and final hope. 
Siofht so deform what heart of rock could long 
Dry-eyed behold ? Adam could not, but wept. 
Though not of woman born ; compassion quelled 
His best of man, and gave him up to tears 
A space, till firmer thoughts restrained excess ; 
And, scarce recovering words, his plaint renewed : 

O miserable mankind, to what fall 
Degraded, to what wretched state reserved ! 
Better end here unborn. Why is life given 
To be thus wrested from us ? Rather, why 
Obtruded on us thus ? who, if we knew 
What we receive, would either not accept 
Life offered, or soon beg to lay it down, 
Glad to be so dismissed in peace. Can thus 
The image ot God in man, created once 
So goodly and erect, though faulty since. 
To such unsightly sufferings be debased 
Under inhuman pains ? Why should not man. 
Retaining still Divine similitude 

' Atrophy (arpo^m). — When a body wastes away from disease in the digestive organs. 
' Marasmus (jiapaaijog). — Consumption. 

XI— 513-546.] 


In part, from such deformities be free, 
And, for his Maker's image sake, exempt 

Their Maker's image, answered Michael, then 
Forsook them, when themselves they vilified 
To serve ungoverned appetite, and took 
His image whom they served, a brutish vice, 
Inductive mainly to the sin of Eve. 
Therefore so abject is their punishment. 
Disfiguring not God's likeness, but their own ; 
Or, if His likeness, by themselves defaced ; 
While they pervert pure nature's healthful rules 
To loathsome sickness ; worthily, since they 
God's image did not reverence in themseh'es. 

I yield it just, said Adam, and submit : 
But is there yet no other way, besides 
These painful passages, how we may come 
To death, and mix with our connatural dust ? 

There is, said Michael, if thou well observe 
The rule of : Not too much — by temperance taught, 
In what thou eat'st and drink'st ; seeking from thence 
Due nourishment, not gluttonous delight. 
Till many years over thy head return, 
So mayst thou live, till, like ripe fruit, thou drop 
Into thy mother's lap, or be with ease 
Gathered, not harshly plucked, for death mature. 
This is old age ; but, then, thou must outlive 
Thy youth, thy strength, thy beauty ; which will change 
To withered, weak, and gray ; thy senses then, 
Obtuse, all taste of pleasure must forego. 
To what thou hast ; and for the air of youth, 
Hopeful and cheerful, in thy blood will reign 
A melancholy damp of cold and dry, 
To weigh thy spirits down, and last consume 
The balm of life. To whom our ancestor : 

2C|8 PARADISE LOST. I^ook XI.-S47-S77 

Henceforth I fly not Death, nor would prolong 
Life much ; bent, rather, how I may be quit, 
Fairest and easiest, of this cumbrous charge, 
Which I must keep till my appointed day 
Of rendering up, and patiently attend 
My dissolution. Michael replied : 

Nor love thy life, nor hate, but what thou livest 
Live well; how long, or short, permit to Heaven. 
And now prepare thee for another sight. 

He looked, and saw a spacious plain, whereon 
Were tents of various hues.' By some were herds 
Of cattle grazing ; others, whence the sound 
Of instruments, that made melodious chime, 
Was heard, of harp and organ, and who moved 
Their stops and chords was seen, his volant touch, 
Instinct through all proportions, low and high. 
Fled and pursued transverse the resonant fugue. 
In other part stood one who, at the forge 
Labouring, two massy clods of iron and brass 
Had melted — whether found where casual fire 
Had wasted woods on mountain or in vale, 
Down to the veins of earth, thence gliding hot 
To some cave's mouth, or whether washed by stream 
From under ground. The liquid ore he drained 
Lito fit moulds prepared, from which he formed 
First, his own tools, then, what might else be wrought 
Fusil or graven^ in metal. After these. 
But on the hither side, a different sort, 
From the high neighbouring hills, which was their seat, 
Down to the plain descended ; by their guise 
Just men they seemed, and all their study bent 

' Were tciits of varioiis hues. — " And Adah bare Jabal : he was the father of such as dwell in tents, and of such as 
have cattle. And his brother's name was Jubal : he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ. And 
Zillah, she also bare Tubal-Cain, an instructor of every artificer in brass and iron." (Gen. iv. -20 — 22.) 

* Fusil or graven. — Fused or giavcn. 

BOOK XI.-S78-608.] PARADISE LOST. 299 

To worship God aright, and know his works 

Not hid, nor those things last, which might preserve 

Freedom and peace to men. They on the plain 

Long had not walked, when from the tents, behold 

A bevy of fair women, richly gay 

In gems and wanton dress ; to the harp they sung 

Soft amorous ditties, and in dance came on. 

The men, though grave, eyed them, and let their eyes 

Rove without rein ; till, in the amorous net 

Fast caught, they liked, and each his liking chose. 

And now of love they treat, till the evening star, 

Love's harbinger, appeared ; then, all in heat, 

They light the nuptial torch, and bid invoke 

Hymen, then first to marriage rites invoked ; 

With feast and music all the tents resound. 

Such happy interview, and fair event 

Of love and youth not lost, songs, garlands, flowers. 

And charming symphonies, attached the heart' 

Of Adam, soon inclined to admit delight, 

The bent of nature ; which he thus expressed : 

True opener of mine eyes, prime Angel blest, 
Much better seems this vision, and more hope 
Of peaceful days portends, than those two past ; 
Those were of hate and death, or pain much worse : 
Here nature seems fulfilled in all her ends. 

To whom thus Michael : Judge not what is best 
By pleasure, though to nature seeming meet ; 
Created, as thou art, to nobler end 
Holy and pure, conformity divine 
Those tents thou sawest so pleasant were the tents 
Of wickedness, wherein shall dwell his race 

• Attached the heart. — "And it came to pass when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters 
were born unto them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were f;iir ; and they took them wives of 
all which they chose." (Gen. vi. I, 2.) 

300 PARADISE LOST. fl^oox '^9 64a 

Who slew his brother ; studious they appear 

Of arts that poHsh Hfe, inventors rare, 

Unmindful of their Maker, though his Spirit 

Taught them,' but they his gifts acknowledged none. 

Yet they a beauteous offspring shall beget ; 

For that fair female troop thou sawest, that seemed 

Of goddesses, so blithe, so smooth, so gay, 

Yet empty of all good, wherem consists 

Woman's domestic honour and chief praise ; 

Bred only and completed to the taste 

Of lustful appetance, to sing, to dance, 

To dress, and troll the tongue, and roll the eye: 

To these that sober race of men, whose lives 

Religious titled them the sons of God, 

Shall yield up all their virtue, all their fame, 

Ignobly, to the trains and to the smiles 

Of these fair atheists ; and now swnm in joy. 

Ere long to swim at large ; and laugh, for which 

The world ere long a world of tears must weep. 

To whom thus Adam, of short joy bereft : 
O pity and shame, that they, who to live well 
Entered so fair, should turn aside to tread 
Paths indirect, or in the midway faint ! 
But still I see the tenor of man's woe 
Holds on the same, from woman to begin. 

From man's effeminate slackness it begins, 
Said the angel, who should better hold his place 
By wisdom, and superior gifts received. 
But now prepare thee for another scene. 

He looked, and saw wide territory spread 
Before him, towns, and rural works between, 
Cities of men with lofty gates and towers, 

' Though his Spirit tarigkt fhein. — "And he hath filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, and 
JU knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship." (Exod. xxxv. 31.) 

Book XI.— 641-671.3 


Concourse in arms, fieice faces threatening war, 

Giants of mighty bone and bold emprise/ 

Part wield their arms, part curb the foaming steed, 

Single, or in array of battle ranged. 

Both horse and foot, nor idly mustering stood. 

One way a band select from forage drives 

A herd of beeves, fair oxen and fair kine. 

From a fat meadow-ground ; or fleecy flock, 

Ewes and their bleating lambs over the plain. 

Their booty ; scarce with life the shepherds fly, 

But call in aid, which makes a bloody fray. 

With cruel tournament the squadrons join ; 

Where cattle pastured late, now scattered lies 

With carcases and arms, the ensanguined field 

Deserted. Others to a city strong 

Lay siege, encamped ; by battery, scale, and mine. 

Assaulting ; others from the wall defend 

With dart and javelin, stones, and sulphurous fire ; 

On each hand slaughter, and gigantic deeds. 

In other part the sceptred heralds call 

To council, in the city gates. Anon 

Gray-headed men and grave, with warriors mixed, 

Assemble, and harangues are heard ; but soon 

In factious opposition, till, at last. 

Of middle age one rising, eminent 

In wise deport, spake much of right and wrong, 

Of justice, of religion, truth, and peace, 

And judgment from above ; him old and young 

Exploded,^ and had seized with violent hands, 

Had not a cloud descendine snatched him thence, 

Unseen amid the throne. So violence 

' Bold emprise. — Courageous deeds. 

' £;r/>/(7</f<('.— Denounced, hissed. The poet's account of Enoch is taken in part from the Apocryphal Book of Enoch 
cited in the Epistle of Jude— " Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of lliese, saying, Behold, the Lord comith with 
ten thousand of his saints." (Jude 14.) " And Enoch walked with God : and he was not ; for God took him." (Gen. v. 24.) 

PARADISE LOST. [Book XI.-672-702 

Proceeded, and oppression, and sword law, 
Through all the plain, and refuge none was found. 
Adam was all in tears, and to his guide 
Lamenting, turned full sad : O what are these ? 
Death's ministers, not men ! who thus deal death 
Inhumanly to men,- and multiply 
Ten thousand fold the sin of him who slew 
His brother; for of whom such massacre 
Make they, but of their brethren, men of men ? 
But who was that just man, whom had not Heaven 
Rescued, had in his righteousness been lost ? 

To whom thus Michael: These are the product 
Of those ill-mated marriages ' thou sawest ; 
Where good with bad were matched, who of themselves 
Abhor to join, and, by imprudence mixed, 
Produce prodigious births of body or mind. 
Such were those giants, men of high renown ; 
For in those days might only shall be admired, 
And valour and heroic virtue called. 
To overcome in battle, and subdue 
Nations, and brmg home spoils, with infinite 
Manslaughter, shall be held the highest pitch 
Of human glory ; and for glory done 
Of triumph, to be styled great conquerors, 
Patrons of mankind, gods, and sons of gods ; 
Destroyers rightlier called, and plagues of men. 
Thus fame shall be achieved, renown on earth ; 
And what most merits fame, in silence hid. 
But he, the seventh from thee, whom thou beheldest 
The only righteous in a world perverse, 
And therefore hated, therefore so beset 

1 Ill-mated marriages.—" There were giants in the earth in those days ; and also after that, when the sons of God came 
in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of 
renown." (Gen. vi. 4.) 

/. 302. Began to build a vessel of huge bulk. 

Book X., line 729. 

[Book XI.-703-736.] PARADISE LOST. 303 

With foes, for daring single to be just, 

And utter odious truth, that God would come 

To judge them with His saints, him the Most High, 

Rapt in a bahny cloud with winged steeds, 

Did, as thou sawest, receive, to walk with God 

High in salvation and the climes of bliss. 

Exempt from death ; to shew thee what reward 

Awaits the good ; the rest what punishment, 

Which now direct thine eyes and soon behold. 

He looked, and saw the face of things quite changed. 
The brazen throat of war had ceased to roar. 
All now was turned to jollity and game, 
To luxury and riot, feast and dance ; 
Marrying or prostituting, as befell, 
Rape or adultery, where passing fair 
Allured them — thence from cups to civil broils. 
At length a reverend sire among them came, 
And of their doings great dislike declared, 
And testified against their ways. He oft 
Frequented their assemblies, whereso met. 
Triumphs or festivals, and to them preached 
Conversion and repentance, as to souls 
In prison, under judgment imminent. 
But all in vain. Which, when he saw, he ceased 
Contending, and removed his tents far off 
Then, from the mountain hewing timber tall, 
Began to -build a vessel of huge bulk; 
Measured by cubit, length, and breadth, and height, 
Smeared round with pitch, and in the side a door 
Contrived, and of provisions laid in large 
For man and beast. When, lo ! a wonder strange ! 
Of every beast, and bird, and insect small. 
Came sevens and pairs, and entered in, as taught 
Their order. Last, the sire and his three sons, 


[Book ai 

With their four wives, and God made fast the door. 

Meanwhile the south wind rose, and, with black wings 

Wide-hovering, all the clouds together drove 

From under heaven ; the hills to their supply 

Vapour, and exhalation, dusk and moist, 

Sent up amain. And now the thickened sky 

Like a dark ceiling stood ; down rushed the rain 

Impetuous, and continued till the earth 

No more was seen ; the floating vessel swum 

Uplifted, and secure, with beaked prow, 

Rode tilting o'er the waves ; all dwellings else 

Flood overwhelmed, and them, with all their pomp, 

Deep under water rolled ; sea covered sea, 

Sea without shore, and in their palaces. 

Where luxury late reigned, sea monsters whelped 

And stabled : of mankind, so numerous late. 

All left in one small bottom swum embarked. 

How didst thou grieve then, Adam, to behold 

The end of all thy offspring, end so sad, 

Depopulation ! Thee, another flood, 

Of tears and sorrow a flood, thee also drowned, 

And sunk thee as thy sons ; till, gently reared 

By the Angel, on thy feet thou stood'st at last, 

Though comfortless — as when a father mourns 

His children, all in view destroyed at once ; 

And scarce to the angel uttered'st thus thy plaint : 

O visions ill foreseen ! better had I 
Lived lo^norant of future : so had borne 
My part of evil only, each day's lot 
Enough to bear. Those now, that were dispensed 
The burden of many ages, on me light 
At once, by my foreknowing gaining birth 
Abortive, to torment me, ere their being. 
With thought that they must be. Let no man seek 

XI.-77I-804. PARADISE LOST. ^05 

Henceforth to be foretold what shall befall 

Him or his children ; evil, he may be sure, 

Which neither his foreknowing can prevent. 

And he the future evil shall no less 

In apprehension than in substance feel, 

Grievous to bear. But that care now is past ; 

Man is not whom to warn ; those few escaped. 

Famine and anguish will at last consume. 

Wandering that watery desert. I had hope. 

When violence was ceased, and war on earth. 

All would have then gone well ; peace would have crowned, 

With length of happy days, the race of man ; 

But I was far deceived ; for now I see 

Peace to corrupt, no less than war to waste. 

How comes it thus ? Unfold, celestial guide, 

And whether here the race of man will end. 

To whom thus Michael : Those, whom last thou sawest 
In triumph and luxurious wealth, are they 
First seen in acts of prowess eminent, 
And great exploits, but of true virtue void, 
Who, having spilt much blood, and done much waste, 
Subduing nations, and achieved thereby 
Fame in the world, high titles, and rich prey, 
Shall change their course to pleasure, ease, and sloth, 
Surfeit, and lust ; till wantonness and pride 
Raise out of friendship hostile deeds in peace. 
The conquered, also, and enslaved by war. 
Shall, with their freedom lost, all virtue lose. 
And fear of God, from whom their piety feigned. 
In sharp contest of battle, found no aid 
Against invaders ; therefore, cooled in zeal. 
Thenceforth shall practise how to live secure. 
Worldly or dissolute, on what their lords 
Shall leave them to enjoy ; for the earth shall bear 

2 N 


More than enough, that temperance may be tried. 

So all shall turn degenerate, all depraved, 

Justice and temperance, truth and faith, forgot; 

One man except, the only son of light 

In a dark age, against example good. 

Against allurement, custom, and a world 

Offended. Fearless of reproach or scorn, 

Or violence, he of their wicked ways 

Shall them admonish ; and before them set 

The paths of righteousness, how much more safe, 

And full of peace ; denouncing wrath to come 

On their impenitence, and shall return 

Of them derided. But of God observed. 

The one just man alive, by his command 

Shall build a wondrous ark, as thou beheld'st, 

To save himself and household from amidst 

A world devote to universal wrack. 

No sooner he, with them of man and beast 

Select for life, shall in the ark be lodged, 

And sheltered round, but all the cataracts 

Of heaven set open on the earth shall pour 

Rain day and night ; all fountains of the deep, 

Broke up, shall heave the ocean to usurp 

Beyond all bounds, till inundation rise 

Above the highest hills ; then shall this mount 

Of Paradise by might of waves be moved 

Out of his place, pushed by the horned flood. 

With all his verdure spoiled, and trees adrift, 

Down the great river to the opening gulf, 

And there take root, an island salt and bare, 

The haunt of seals, and ores, and sea-mews' clang 

To teach thee that God attributes to place 

No sanctity, if none be thither brought 

By men who there frequent, or therein dwell ; 

And now, what further shall ensue, behold. 

Book XL— 84o-87^1 


He looked, and saw the ark hull on the flood, 
Which now abated. For the clouds were fled. 
Driven by a keen north wind, that, blowing dry, 
Wrinkled the face of deluge, as decayed; 
And the clear sun on his wide watery glass 
Gazed hot, and of the fresh wave largely drew. 
As after thirst ; which made their flowing shrink 
From standing lake to tripping ebb, that stole. 
With soft foot, towards the deep, who now had stopt 
His sluices, as the heaven his windows shut. 
The ark no more now floats, but seems on ground, 
Fast on the top of some high mountain fixed. 
And now the tops of hills, as rocks, appear ; 
With clamour thence the rapid currents drive, 
Towards the retreating sea, their furious tide. 
Forthwith from out the ark a raven flies ; 
And after him, the surer messenger, 
A dove, sent forth once and again to spy 
Green tree or ground, whereon his foot may light. 
The second time returning, in his bill 
An olive leaf he brings, pacific sign. 
Anon dry ground appears, and from his ark 
The ancient sire descends, with all his train : 
Then, with uplifted hands, and eyes devout, 
Grateful to Heaven, over his head beholds 
A dewy cloud, and in the cloud a bow 
Conspicuous, with three listed colours gay, 
Betokening peace from God, and covenant new 
Whereat the heart of Adam, erst so sad, 
Greatly rejoiced, and thus his joy broke forth : 

O Thou, who future things canst represent 
As present, heavenly instructor, I revive 
At this last sight ; assured that man shall live, 
With all the creatures, and their seed preserve. 


(Book XI.—; 

Far less I now lament for one whole world 

Of wicked sons destroyed, than I rejoice 

For one man found so perfect, and so just. 

That God vouchsafes to raise another world 

From him, and all his anger to forget. 

But say, what mean those coloured streaks in heaven 

E)istended, as the brow of God appeased ? 

Or serve they, as a flowery verge, to bind 

The fluid skirts of that same watery cloud. 

Lest it again dissolve and shower the earth ? 

To whom the Archangel : Dexterously thou aimest ; 
So willingly doth God remit his ire, 
Though late repenting him of man depraved ; 
Grieved at his heart, when, looking down, he saw 
The whole earth filled with violence, and all flesh 
Corrupting each their way. Yet, those removed, 
Such grace shall one just man find in his sight, 
That he relents, not to blot out mankind ; 
And makes a covenant, never to destroy 
The earth again by flood, nor let the sea 
Surpass his bounds, nor rain to drown the world, 
With man therein or beast ; but when he brings 
Over the earth a cloud, will therein set 
His triple-coloured bow, whereon to look 
And call to mind His covenant. Day and night, 
Seed-time and harvest, heat and hoary frost. 
Shall hold their course, till fire purge all things new, 
Both heaven and earth, wherein the just shall dwell. 


The Angel Michael continues, from the flood, to relate what shall succeed ; then, in the mention of Abraham, comes by 
degrees to explain who that seed of the woman shall be which was promised Adam and Eve in the fall : His in- 
carnation, death, resurrection, and ascension ; the state of the Church till His second coming. Adam, greatly 
satisfied and re-comforted by these relations and promises, descends the hill with Michael ; wakens Eve, who all 
this while had slept, but with gentle dreams composed to quietness of mind and submi ssion. Michael, in either 
hand leads them out of Paradise, the fiery sword waving behind them, and the cherubim taking their stations to 
guard the place. 

AS one who, in his journey, bates at noon. 

Though bent on speed, so here the Archangel paused 
Betwixt the world destroyed and world restored, 
If Adam aught, perhaps, might interpose ; 
Then, with transition sweet, new speech resumes : 

Thus thou hast seen one world begin, and end, 
And man, as from a second stock, proceed. 
Much thou hast yet to see ; but I perceive 
Thy mortal sight to fail ; objects divine 
Must needs impair and weary human sense. 
Henceforth what is to come I will relate ; 
Thou, therefore, give due audience, and attend : 

This second source of men, while yet but few, 
And while the dread of judgment past remains 
Fresh in their minds, fearing the Deity, 
With some regard to what is just and right 
Shall lead their lives, and multiply apace, 
Labouring the soil, and reaping plenteous crops, 
Corn, wine, and oil ; and, from the herd or flock, 
Oft sacrificing bullock, lamb, or kid, 
With large wine-offerings poured, and sacred feast, 
Shall spend their days in joy unblamed, and dwell 
Long time in peace, by families and tribes, 


PARADISE LOST. C^ook XII.-24-55. 

Under paternal rule; till one shall rise,' 

Of proud, ambitious heart, who, not content 

With fair equality, fraternal state, 

Will arrogate dominion undeserved 

Over his brethren, and quite dispossess 

Concord and law of nature from the earth : 

Huntine, — and men, not beasts, shall be his game, — 

With war, and hostile snare, such as refuse 

Subjection to his empire tyrannous ! 

A mighty hunter thence he shall be styled 

Before the Lord, as, in despite of Heaven, 

Or from Heaven, claiming second sovereignty ; 

And from rebellion shall derive his name, 

Thoueh of rebellion others he accuse. 

He, with a crew, whom like ambition joins 
With him, or under him, to tyrannise, 

Marching from Eden towards the west, shall find 

The plain wherein a black, bituminous gurge 

Boils out from under ground, the mouth of Hell. 

Of brick, and of that stuff, they cast to build 

A city and tower, whose top may reach to heaven, 

And get themselves a name, lest, far dispersed 

In foreign lands, their memory be lost: 

Reorardless whether g^ood or evil fame. 

But God, who oft descends to visit men 

Unseen, and through their habitations walks 

To mark their doings, them beholding soon, 

Comes down to see their city, ere the tower 

Obstruct Heaven-towers, and in derision sets 

Upon their tongues a various spirit, to rase 

Quite out their native language, and, instead, 

To sow a jangling noise of words unknown. 

* Till one shall rise. — "And Cush begat Nimrod : he began to be a mighty one in the earth. He was a mighty 
hunter before the Lord: and the beginning of Ids kingdom was Babel, in the land of Shinar." (Gen. x. 8 — 10.) 

Book XII.— 56-85.] 


Forthwith a hideous gabble rises loud 

Among the builders ; each to other calls, 

Not understood, till hoarse, and all in rage, 

As mocked they storm. Great laughter was in Heaven, 

And looking down to see the hubbub strange, 

And hear the din. Thus was the building left 

Ridiculous, and the work Confusion named.' 

Whereto thus Adam, fatherly displeased : 
O execrable son ! so to aspire 
Above his brethren ; to himself assuming 
Authority usurped, from God not given. 
He gave us only over beast, fish, fov/1, 
Dominion absolute ; that right we hold 
By his donation, but man over men 
He made not lord; such title to Himself 
Reserving, human left for human free. 
But this usurper his encroachment proud 
Stays not on man ; to God his tower intends 
Siege and defiance ! Wretched man ! what food 
Will he convey up thither, to sustain 
Himself and his rash army, where thin air 
Above the clouds, will pine his entrails gross, 
And famish him of breath, if not of bread ? 

To whom thus Michael : Justly thou abhor'st 
That son, who on the quiet state of men 
Such trouble brought, affecting to subdue 
Rational liberty ; yet know withal, 
Since thy original lapse, true liberty 
Is lost, which always with right reason dwells, 
Twinned, and from her hath no dividual being. 

' The work Confusion named. — "And it came to pass as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the 
valley of Shinar ; and they dwelt there. And they said, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they 
had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar. And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose 
top may reach unto hea/en ; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole 
earth. . . . And the Lord came down to see the city and tower," &c. &c. (Gen. xi. 2 et seq ) 



Reason in man obscured, or not obeyed, 

Immediately inordinate desires 

And upstart passions catch the government 

From reason, and to servitude reduce 

Man, till then free. Therefore, since he permits. 

Within himself, unworthy powers to reign 

Over free reason, God, in judgment just, 

Subjects him from without to violent lords. 

Who oft as undeservedly enthral 

His outward freedom. Tyranny must be, 

Though to the tyrant thereby no excuse. 

Yet sometimes nations will decline so low 

From virtue, which is reason, that no wrong, 

But justice, and some fatal curse annexed 

Deprives them of their outward liberty. 

Their inward lost. Witness the irreverent son 

Of him who built the ark, who, for the shame, 

Done to his father, heard this heavy curse, 

Servant of servants, on his vicious race. 

Thus will this latter, as the former, world. 

Still tend from bad to worse, till God, at last, 

Wearied with their iniquities, withdraw 

His presence from among them, and avert 

His holy eyes, resolving from thenceforth 

To leave them to their own polluted ways, 

And one peculiar nation to select 

From all the rest, of whom to be invoked, 

A nation from one faithful man to spring : 

Him on this side Euphrates yet residing, 

Bred up in idol worship. O that men — 

Canst thou believe ? — should be so stupid grown. 

While yet the patriarch lived who 'scaped the flood, 

As to forsake the living God, and fall 

To worship their own work In wood and stone 

Book XII.— 120-149.J TARADISE LOST. 3 1 3 

For gods! Yet him, God the Most High vouchsafes 

To call, by vision, from his father's house, 

His kindred, and false gods, into a land 

Which He will show him ; and from him will raise 

A mighty nation, and upon him shower 

His benediction so, that in his seed 

All nations shall be blest.' He straight obeys, 

Not knowing to what land, yet firm believes. 

I see him, but thou canst not, with what faith 

He leaves his gods, his friends, and native soil, 

Ur of Chaldea, passing now the ford 

To Haran ; after him a cumbrous train 

Of herds and flocks, and numerous servitude ; 

Not wandering poor, but trusting all his wealth 

With God, who called him, in a land unknown. 

Canaan he now attains. I see his tents 

Pitched about Sechem, and the neighbouring plain 

Of Moreh. There, by promise, he receives 

Gift to his progeny of all that land, 

From Hamath, northward to the desert south — 

Things by their names I call, though yet unnamed — 

From Herrnon east, to the great western sea ; 

Mount Hermon, yonder sea ; each place behold 

In prospect, as I point them. On the shore, 

Mount Carmel ; here, the double-founted stream,^ 

Jordan, true limit eastward ; but his sons 

Shall dwell to Senir,^ that long ridge of hills. 

This ponder, that all nations of the earth 

Shall in his seed be blessed. By that seed 

Is meant thy great Deliverer, who shall bruise 

' In his seed all nations shall be blest. — " Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and 
from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee. And I will make of thee a great 
nation, and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed." (Gen. xii. i, 2.) 

' The double-founted stream. — The Jordan has its origin in two fountains or springs —the one about twenty miles 
north of CKsarca Philippi, the other about eighteen miles south of that spot. 

' Senir. — The Amorites gave this name to Mount Hermon. 

2 O 



The Serpent's head ; whereof to thee anon 

PlainHer shall be revealed. This patriarch blest, 

Whom faithful Abraham due time shall call, 

A son, and of his son a grandchild, leaves. 

Like him in faith, in wisdom, and renown. 

The grandchild, with twelve sons increased, departs 

From Canaan to a land hereafter called 

Egypt, divided by the river Nile. 

See where it flows, disgorging at seven mouths 

Into the sea : to sojourn in that land 

He comes, invited by a younger son 

In time of dearth — a son, whose worthy deeds 

Raise him to be the second in that realm 

Of Pharaoh. There he dies, and leaves his race 

Growing into a nation. And, now grown 

Suspected to a sequent king, who seeks 

To stop their overgrowth, as inmate guests 

Too numerous ; whence of guests he makes them slaves, 

Inhospitably; and kills their infant males: 

Till by two brethren — those two brethren call 

Moses and Aaron — sent from God to claim 

His people from enthralment, they return, 

With glory and spoil, back to their promised land. 

But first, the lawless tyrant, who denies 

To know their God, or message to regard, 

Must be compelled by signs and judgments dire. 

To blood unshed the rivers must be turned ; 

Frogs, lice, and flies, must all his palace fill 

With loathed intrusion, and fill all the land ; 

His cattle must of rot and murrain die; 

Botches and blains must all ■ his flesh emboss. 

And all his people ; thunder mixed with hail. 

Hail mixed with fire, must rend the Egyptian sky. 

And wheel on the earth, devouring where it rolls ; 

Book XI I. — 1 84-21 4. j 


What it devours not, herb, or fruit, or grain, 

A darksome cloud of locusts swarmine down 

Must eat, and on the ground leave nothing green ; 

Darkness must overshadow all his bounds. 

Palpable darkness, and blot out three days ; 

Last, with one midnight stroke, all the first-born 

Of Egypt must lie dead. Thus, with ten wounds. 

The river-dragon, tamed, at length submits 

To let his sojourners depart, and oft 

Humbles his stubborn heart, but still as ice 

More hardened after thaw ! till, in his rage 

Pursuing whom he late dismissed, the sea 

Swallows him with his host, but them lets pass, 

As on dry land, between two crystal walls ; 

Awed by the rod of Moses so to stand 

Divided, till his rescued gain their shore : 

Such wondrous power God to his saint will lend, 

Though present in his Angel, who shall go 

Before them in a cloud, and pillar of fire ; 

By day a cloud, by night a pillar of fire ; 

To guide them in their journey, and remove 

Behind them, while the obdurate king pursues. 

All night he will pursue, but his approach 

Darkness defends between till morning watch 

Then through the fiery pillar and the cloud, 

God, looking forth, will trouble all his host, 

And craze their chariot-wheels ; when, by command, 

Moses once more his potent rod extends 

Over the sea ; the sea his rod obeys ; 

On their embattled ranks the waves return, 

And overwhelm their war. The race elect 

• Till morning watch.— " And. it came to pass, that in the morning watch the Lord looked unto the host of the 
Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and troubled the host of the Egyptians, and took off their chariot 
wheels, so that they drave heavily," &c. &:c. (Exod. xiv. 24 — 28.) 




Safe towards Canaan, from the shore, advance 

Through the wild desert ; not the readiest way, 

Lest, enterinor on the Canaanite alarmed, 

War terrify them, inexpert, and fear 

Return them back to Egypt, choosing rather 

Inglorious life with servitude. For life, 

To noble and ignoble, is more sweet 

Untrained in arms, where rashness leads not on. 

This also shall they gain by their delay 

In the wide wilderness ; there they shall found 

Their government, and their great senate choose 

Through the twelve tribes, to rule by laws ordained ; 

God, from the mount of Sinai, whose grey top 

Shall tremble, He descendmg, will Himself, 

In thunder, lightning, and loud trumpets' sound, 

Ordain them laws ; part, such as appertain 

To civil justice ; part, religious rites 

Of sacrifice ; informing them, by types 

And shadows, of that destined Seed to bruise 

The Serpent, by what means He shall achieve 

Mankind's deliverance. But the voice of God 

To mortal ear is dreadful : they beseech 

That Moses might report to them his will. 

And terror cease. He grants what they besought, 

Instructed that to God is no access 

Without mediator, whose high office now 

Moses in figure bears, to introduce 

One greater, of whose day he shall foretell, 

And all the prophets in their age, the times 

Of great Messiah shall sing. Thus, laws and rites 

Established, such delight hath God in men 

Obedient to his will, that he vouchsafes 

Among them to set up his tabernacle — 

The Holy One with mortal men to dwell : 

They beseech 
That Moses might report to them his will, 
And terror cease. 

Book XII., lines 236-238. 

XII.— 249-280.] 


By his prescript a sanctuary is framed 
Of cedar, overlaid with gold ; therein 
An ark, and in the ark his testimony, 
The records of his covenant ; over these 
A mercy-seat of gold, between the wings 
Of two bright cherubim ; before him burn 
Seven lamps, as in a zodiac, representing 
The heavenly fires ; over the tent a cloud 
Shall rest by day, a fiery gleam by night, 
Save when they journey, and at length they come, 
Conducted by his Angel,' to the land 
Promised to Abraham and his seed. The rest 
Were long to tell ; how many battles fought ; 
How many kings destroyed, and kingdoms won ; 
Or how the sun shall in mid heaven stand still 
A day entire, and night's clue course adjourn, 
Man's voice commanding, Sun, in Gibeon stand, 
And thou, moon, in the vale of Ajalon, 
Till Israel overcome ! — so call the third 
From Abraham, son of Isaac ; and from him 
His whole descent, who thus shall Canaan win. 

Here Adam interposed: O sent from Heaven 
Enlightener of my darkness, gracious things 
Thou hast revealed, those chiefly which concern 
Just Abraham and his seed. Now first I find 
Mine eyes true opening, and my heart much eased, 
Erewhile perplexed with thoughts, what would becom 
Of me and all mankind ; but now I see 
His day, in whom all nations shall be blest ; 
Favour unmerited by me, who sought 
Forbidden knowledge by forbidden means. 
This yet I apprt^hend not ; why to those 

' Conducied by his Ant^el. — "For my Angel shall go before thee, and bring thee," &c. 

3l8 PARADISE LOST. [Book XII.-281-311, 

Among whom God will deign to dwell on earth, 

So many and so various laws are given ? 

So many laws argue so many sins 

Among them ; how can God with such reside ? 

To whom thus Michael : Doubt not but that sin 
Will reign among them, as of thee begot ; 
And, therefore, was law given them, to evince 
Their natural pravity, by stirring up 
Sin against law' to fight ; that when they see 
Law can discover sin, but not remove, 
Save by those shadowy expiations weak. 
The blood of bulls and goats, they may conclude 
Some blood more precious must be paid for man ; 
Just for unjust ; that in such righteousness, 
To them by faith imputed, they may find 
Justification towards God, and peace 
Of conscience, which the law by ceremonies 
Cannot appease, nor man the moral part 
Perform, and, not performing, cannot live. 
So law appears imperfect, and but given 
With purpose to resign them, in full tmie, 
Up to a better covenant, disciplined 
From shadowy types to truth, from flesh to spirit, 
From imposition of strict laws to free 
Acceptance of large grace, from servile fear 
To filial — works of law to works of faith. 
And, therefore, shall not Moses, though of God 
Highly beloved, being but the minister 
Of law, his people into Canaan lead ; 
But Joshua, whom the Gentiles Jesus call,"" 
His name and office bearing, who shall quell. 

' StttTing up sin against /rtw.— "The law entered that the offence might abound." (Rom. v. 20.) "By the law is 
the knowledge of sin." (Rom. iii. 20.) 

^ The Gentiles Jesus call. — The Septuagint always gives this name to Joshua ('Iij^oCt). 



The adversary Serpent, and bring back, 

Through the world's wilderness, long- wandered Man 

Safe to eternal Paradise of rest. 

Meanwhile they, in their earthly Canaan placed, 

Long time shall dwell and prosper, but when sins 

National interrupt their public peace, 

Provoking God to raise them enemies ; 

From whom as oft he saves them penitent, 

By Judges first, then under Kings ; of whom 

The second, both for piety renowned 

And puissant deeds, a promise shall receive 

Irrevocable, that his regal throne 

For ever shall endure. The like shall sing 

All prophecy, that of the royal stock 

Of David — so I name this king — shall rise 

A son, the Woman's Seed to thee foretold, 

Foretold to Abraham, as in whom shall trust 

All nations ; and to kmgs foretold, of kings 

The last — for of His reion shall be no end. 

But first, a long succession must ensue ; 

And his next son, for wealth and wisdom famed, 

The clouded ark of God, till then in tents 

Wandering, shall in a glorious temple enshrine. 

Such follow him as shall be registered 

Part good, part bad ; of bad the longer scroll ; 

Whose foul idolatries, and other faults, 

Heaped to the popular sum, will so incense 

God, as to leave them, and expose their land, 

Their city, his temple, and his holy ark, 

With all his sacred things, a scorn and prey 

To that proud city, whose high walls thou sawest 

Left in confusion — Babylon thence called. 

There in captivity he lets them dwell 

The space of seventy years ; then brings them back, 

320 PARADISE LOST. [I^ook AH.-346-376. 

Remembering mercy, and his covenant sworn 

To David, 'stablished as the days of heaven. 

Returned from Babylon by leave of kings. 

Their lords, whom God disposed, the house of God 

They first re-edify, and for a while 

In mean estate live moderate, till, grown 

In wealth and multitude, factious they grow. 

But first among the priests dissension springs 

Men who attend the altar, and should most 

Endeavour peace. Their strife pollution brings 

Upon the temple itself At last they seize 

The sceptre, and regard not David's sons ; 

Then lose it to a stranger, that the true 

Anointed king, Messiah, might be born 

Barred of his right. Yet at his birth a star, 

Unseen before in heaven, proclaims him come, 

And guides the eastern sages, who inquire 

His place, to offer incense, myrrh, and gold : 

His place of birth a solemn angel tells 

To simple shepherds, keepmg watch by night ; 

They gladly thither haste, and by a quire 

Of squadroned angels hear his carol sung. 

A Virgin is his mother, but his sire 

The power of the Most High. He shall ascend 

The throne hereditary, and bound his reign 

With earth's wide bounds, his glory with the heavens. 

He ceased ; discerning Adam, with such joy 
Surcharged, as had, like grief, been dewed in tears. 
Without the vent of words ; which these he breathed : 

O prophet of glad tidings, finisher 
Of utmost hope ! now clear I understand 

' Among the priests dissension springs. — This is a reference to the struggle for the high, priesthood between Jason 
and Menclaus, in the time of Antiochus Epiphanes ; and later between Aristobulus and Hyrcanus. Aristobulus united 
the kingly and priestly office in his person. 

Book XII.— 377-409] PARADISE LOST. 

What oft my steadiest thoughts have searched in vain ; 
Why our great Expectation should be called 
The Seed of Woman : Virgin Mother, hail ! 
High in the love of Heaven ; yet from my loins 
Thou shalt proceed, and from thy womb the Son 
Of God Most High ; so God with man unites. 
Needs must the Serpent now his capital bruise 
Expect with mortal pain ; say where and when 
Their fight ; what stroke shall bruise the Victor's heel ? 

To whom thus Michael : Dream not of their fiorht. 
As of a duel, or the local wounds 
Of head or heel ; not, therefore, joins the Son 
Manhood to Godhead, with more strength to foil 
Thy enemy ; nor so is overcome 
Satan, whose fall from heaven, a deadlier bruise, 
Disabled not to give thee thy death's wound ; 
Which He, who comes thy Saviour, shall re-cure, 
Not by destroying Satan, but his works 
In thee, and in thy seed : nor can this be, 
But by fulfilling that which thou didst want, 
Obedience to the law of God, imposed 
On penalty of death ; and suffering death. 
The penalty to thy transgression due, 
And due to theirs, which out of thine will grow ; 
So only can high justice rest appaid.' 
The law of God exact he shall fulfil. 
Both by obedience and by love, though love 
Alone fulfil the law ; thy punishment 
He shall endure, by coming in the flesh 
To a reproachful life and cursed death ; 
Proclaiming life to all who shall believe 
. In his redemption, and that his obedience. 
Imputed, becomes theirs by faith; His merits 

' Appaid.—VM.6.; appagato, Italian. 

2 P 

PARADISE LOST. [Book Xll.-4io-44a 

To save them, not their own, though legal, works. 

For this he shall live hated, be blasphemed. 

Seized on by force, judged, and to death condemned. 

A shameful and accursed, nailed to the cross 

By his own nation; slain for bringing life. 

But to the cross He nails thy enemies, 

The law that is against thee, and the sins 

Of all mankind with him there crucified. 

Never to hurt them more who rightly trust 

In diis his satisfaction. So he dies. 

But soon revives ; death over Him no power 

Shall long usurp. Ere the third dawning ligiit 

Return, the stars of morn shall see him rise 

Out of his grave, fresh as the dawning light. 

Thy ransom paid, which man from death redeems, 

His death lor man, as many as offered life 

Neglect not, and the benefit embrace 

By faith not void of works. This Godlike act 

Annuls thy doom, the death thou shouldst have died, 

In sin for ever lost from life ; this act 

Shall bruise the head of Satan, crush his strength, 

Defeating Sin and Death, his two main arms, 

And fix far deeper in his head their stings 

Than temporal death shall bruise the Victor's heel, 

Or theirs whom he redeems — a death like sleep, 

A o^entle waftingr to immortal life. 

Nor after resurrection shall he stay 

Longer on earth than certain times to appear 

To his disciples, men who in his life 

Still followed him ; to them shall leave in charge 

To teach all nations what of him they learned, 

And his salvation ; them who shall believe 

Baptising in the profluent stream,' the sign 

' PrqflueJit stieum. — Milton seems to have thought that baptism should be administered in nmping, not in stagnant water. 

XII.— 443-476.] 


Of washing them from guilt of sin to life 

Pure, and in mind prepared, if so befall. 

For death, like that which the Redeemer died. 

All nations they shall teach ; for, from that day, 

Not only to the sons of Abraham's loins 

Salvation shall be preached, but to the sons 

Of Abraham's faith wherever throuo^h the world ; 

So in his seed all nations shall be blest. 

Then to the Heaven of heavens he shall ascend 

With victory, triumphing through the air, 

Over his foes and thine ; there shall surprise 

The Serpent, prince of air, and drag in chains 

Through all his realm, and there confounded leave ; 

Then enter into glory, and resume 

His seat at God's right hand, exalted high 

Above all names in Heaven ; and thence shall come, 

When this world's dissolution shall be ripe, 

With glory and power, to judge both quick and dead ; 

To judge the unfaithful dead, but to reward 

His faithful, and receive them into bliss, 

Whether in heaven or earth ; for then the earth 

Shall all be Paradise, far happier place 

Than this of Eden, and far happier days. 

So spake the Archangel Michael ; then paused. 
As at the world's great period ; and our sire. 
Replete with joy and wonder, thus replied : 

O Goodness infinite. Goodness immense ! 
That all this good of evil shall produce. 
And evil turn to good ; more wonderful 
Than that which by creation first brought forth 
Light out of darkness ! Full of doubt I stand, 
Whether I should repent me now of sin 
By me done, and occasioned, or rejoice 
Much more, that much more good thereof shall spring 


[Book XH.— 477 

To God more glory, more good-will to men 
From God, and over wrath grace shall abound. 
But say, if our Deliverer up to Heaven 
Must reascend, what will betide the few, 
His faithful, left among the unfaithful herd. 
The enemies of truth ? Who, then, shall guide 
His people — who defend ? Will they not deal 
Worse with His followers than with Him they dealt? 

Be sure they will, said the Angel ; but from Heaven 
He to his own a Comforter will send, 
The promise of the Father, who shall dwell 
His Spirit within them ; and the law of faith, 
Working through love, upon their hearts shall write, 
To guide them in all truth, and also arm 
With spiritual armour able to resist 
Satan's assaults, and quench his fiery darts ; 
What man can do against them, not afraid, 
Though to the death ; against such cruelties 
With inward consolations recompensed, 
And oft supported so as shall amaze 
Their proudest persecutors ; for the Spirit, 
Poured first on his apostles, whom he sends 
To evangelise the nations, then on all 
Baptised, shall them with wondrou:3 gifts endue 
To speak all tongues, and do all miracles. 
As did their Lord before them. Thus they win 
Great numbers of each nation to receive 
With joy the tidings brought from Heaven: at length, 
Their ministry performed, and race well run, 
Their doctrine and their story written left, 
They die ; but in their room, as they forewarn. 
Wolves shall succeed for teachers, grievous wolves, 
Who all the sacred mysteries of Heaven 
To their own vile advantages shall turn. 

Book XII. — 511-540.] 


Of lucre and ambition, and the truth 

With superstitions and traditions taint, 

Left only in those written records pure. 

Though not but by the Spirit understood.' 

Then shall they seek to avail themselves of names, 

Places, and titles, and with these to join 

Secular power, though feigning still to act 

By spiritual, to themselves appropriating 

The Spirit of God, promised alike, and given 

To all believers ; and from that pretence, 

Spiritual laws by carnal power shall force 

On every conscience ; laws which none shall find 

Left them enrolled,^ or what the spirit within 

Shall on the heart engrave. What will they, then, 

But force the Spirit of Grace itself, and bind 

His consort Liberty ? What but unbuild 

His living temples, built by faith to stand. 

Their own faith, not another's ? For, on earth, 

Who against faith and conscience can be heard 

Infallible.^ Yet many will presume: 

Whence heavy persecution shall arise 

On all who in the worship persevere 

Of spirit and truth ; the rest, far greater part, 

Will deem in outward rites and specious forms 

Religion satisfied ; truth shall retire 

Bestuck with slanderous darts, and works of faith 

Rarely be found. So shall the world go on, 

To good malignant, to bad men benign. 

Under her own weight groaning, till the day 

Appear of respiration to the just, 

> Thotigh not but by the Spirit understood.— Ovv^ of many passages which showed that Milton believed in Divine 
influence as a teaching power in man. Not an influence to render one man infallible against another, but tending to 
general enlightenment when rationally understood. 

» Left them enrolled. — Left written, written in the Scriptures. 



And vengeance to the wicked, at return 
Of Him so lately promised to thy aid, 
The woman's Seed ; obscurely then foretold, 
Now ampler known thy Saviour and thy Lord ; 
Last, in the clouds, from Heaven, to be revealed, 
In glory of the Father, to dissolve 
Satan with his perverted world ; then raise 
From the conflagrant mass, purged and refined, 
New Heavens, new Earth, ages of endless date, 
Founded in righteousness, and peace, and love, 
To bring forth fruits, joy and eternal bliss. 

He ended; and thus Adam last replied: 
How soon hath thy prediction. Seer blest, 
Measured this transient world, the race of time, 
Till time stand fixed ! Beyond is all abyss, 
Eternity, whose end no eye can reach. 
Greatly instructed I shall hence depart ; 
Greatly in peace of thought ; and have my fill 
Of knowledge, what this vessel can contain ; 
Beyond which was my folly to aspire. 
Henceforth I learn, that to obey is best. 
And love, with fear, the only God ; to walk 
As in His presence, ever to observe 
His providence, and on him sole depend, 
Merciful over all his works, with good 
Still overcoming evil, and by small 
Accomplishing great things ; by things deemed weak 
Subverting worldly strong, and worldly wise ' 
By simply meek ; that suffering for truth's sake 
Is fortitude to highest victory ; 
And, to the faithful, death the gate of life ; 
Taught this by His example, whom I now 
Acknowledge my Redeemer ever blest. 

XII.— 574-6o6.] 


To whom thus also the Angel last replied : 
This having learned, thou hast attained the sum 
Of wisdom ; hope no higher, though all the stars 
Thou knewest by name, and all the ethereal power 
All secrets of the Deep, all Nature's works, 
Or works of God in heaven, air, earth, or sea, 
And all the riches of this world enjoyedst. 
And all the rule, one empire. Only add 
Deeds to thy knowledge answerable ; add faith, 
Add virtue, patience, temperance ; add love, 
By name to come called charity, the soul 
Of all the rest : then wilt thou not be loath 
To leave this Paradise, but shalt possess 
A paradise within thee, happier far. 
Let us descend now, therefore, from this top 
Of speculation ; for the hour precise 
Exacts our parting hence. And, see ! the guards. 
By me encamped on yonder hill, expect 
Their motion, at whose front a flaming sword, 
In signal of remove, waves fiercely round. 
We may no longer stay : go, waken Eve ; 
Her also I with gentle dreams have calmed, 
Portending good, and all her spirits composed 
To meek submission ; thou, at season fit, 
Let her with thee partake what thou hast heard, 
Chiefly, what may concern her faith to know. 
The great deliverance by her seed to come — 
For by the Woman's seed — on all mankind ; 
That ye may live, which will be many days. 
Both in one faith unanimous, though sad, 
With cause, for evils past, yet much more cheered 
With meditation on the happy end. 

He ended, and they both descend the hill 

2 28 PARADISE LOST. [Book XII.-6o7-b;j« 

Descended, Adam to the bower, where Eve 
Lay sleeping, ran before, but found her waked ; 
And thus with words not sad she him received : 

Whence thou return'st, and whither went'st, I know; 
For God is also in sleep ; and dreams advise, 
Which He hath sent propitious, some great good 
Presaeine, since, with sorrow and heart's distress 
Wearied, I fell asleep. But now lead on, 
In me is no delay ; with thee to go. 
Is to stay here ; without thee here to stay, 
Is to go hence unwilling ; thou to me 
Art all things under heaven, all places thou. 
Who for my wilful crime art banished hence. 
This further consolation yet secure 
I carry hence ; though all by me is lost, 
Such favour I, unworthy, am vouchsafed. 
By me the Promised Seed shall all restore. 

So spake our mother Eve ; and Adam heard, 
Well pleased, but answered not ; for now, too nigh 
The Archangel stood ; and from the other hill 
To their fixed station, all in bright array, 
The Cherubim descended, on the ground 
Gliding meteorus, as evening mist. 
Risen from a river, o'er the marish glides, 
And gathers ground fast at the labourer's heel. 
Homeward returning. High in front advanced. 
The brandished sword of God before them blazed, 
Fierce as a comet ; which, with torrid heat. 
And vapour as the Lybian air adust. 
Began to parch that temperate clime ; whereat 
In either hand the hastening Angel caught 
Our lingering parents, and to the eastern gate 
Led them direct, and down the cliff as fast 

Book XII.— 640-649.] 


To the subjected plain ; then disappeared. 
They, lookuig back, all the eastern side beheld 
Of Paradise, so late their happy seat. 
Waved over by that flaming brand ; the gate 
With dreadful faces thronged, and fiery arms. 
Some natural tears they dropt, but wiped them soon ; 
The world was all before them, where to choose 
Their place of rest, and Providence their guide : 
They, hand in hand, with wandering steps and slow, 
Through Eden took their solitary way.